Israeli forces to vet Palestinian school teachers

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Israeli bulldozers demolishing the Challenge 5 Primary School in Beit Ta’mir village near Bethlehem on May 7th

The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has introduced two bills that would bring Palestinian schools colleges and universities and their staff in the 1948-occupied territories under stricter scrutiny from the regime’s so-called security and intelligence apparatus.

One of the bills, proposed last Wednesday, would require the Israeli education ministry to conduct background security checks on potential teachers.
If passed, the bill would authorise a committee, after conducting a hearing, to rescind the appointment of a teacher or dismiss a school staff member if they ‘identify with a (so-called) terror organisation’ or express support for the armed struggle of an adversarial entity.
It also requires potential teachers to prove they have no ‘affinity for terrorism’.
The second legislation sets more stringent guidelines that would make receiving a teaching licence much harder.
The licensing of schools would be dependent on whether they accommodate ‘the fundamental requirements of the Israeli school system’.
The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved both bills earlier this week.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said the move is a step towards reinstating the supervision of the Palestinian school system in occupied lands, which Israel’s ‘internal security service’ Shin Bet used to carry out.
The practice was discontinued in 2005.
Last month, Israeli military forces demolished a donor-funded Palestinian primary school in the central part of the occupied West Bank, in a flagrant violation of Palestinian children’s right to education.
Witnesses and local officials said the Israeli military raided Beit Ta’mir village, located six kilometres (3.7 miles) south east of Bethlehem, on Sunday May 7th and demolished the Challenge 5 School.
They said dozens of Israeli soldiers cordoned off the area around the school, and a bulldozer flattened it shortly afterward.
The school, which was built of makeshift materials, was attended by 66 Palestinian students. It was demolished in 2017 before it was rebuilt in the same year.
Israeli forces have delivered demolition orders to 58 schools in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem (al-Quds), according to the Arab Campaign for Education for All (ACEA).
It warned in a statement that the violations affect children, teachers and school buildings, highlighting the need that concerned institutions and the relevant United Nations agencies to assume their role and responsibilities in pressuring the regime to stop the policy of demolishing schools.
Meanwhile, five members of the Palestinian resistance group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, General Command (PFLP-GC) have been killed in a blast overnight at a base near Lebanon’s border with Syria.
An eyewitness said that: ‘An old rocket exploded in an arms depot on the base.’
However, a spokesman for the PFLP-GC has blamed Israel for the explosion, saying the Tel Aviv regime carried out overnight raids at the base in Qusaya.
Anwar Raja told the media that five fighters were killed and 10 wounded, adding that ‘for now we do not have more detailed information on the operation’.
An Israeli source denied ‘any involvement in the deadly blast’.
Back in August 2019, suspected Israeli strikes targeted the PFLP-GC in Qusaya southern Lebanon.
In July 2015, a security official also reported a blast at the PFLP-GC base in Qusaya, saying seven people were wounded, while the Palestinian group blamed it on an Israeli strike.
The PFLP-GC was founded in 1968 after splitting from the similarly named Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
It has close ties to Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance group as well as the Syrian government and has bases in Lebanon’s eastern Bekaa Valley as well as in al-Naameh, just south of Beirut.
Its founder, Ahmed Jibril, was based in Damascus the Syrian capital until he died in 2021.

  • Dozens of Israeli settlers, backed by military soldiers, last Friday stormed various locations in the West Bank city of Jericho.

Dozens of settlers, under the protection of Israeli forces, stormed Ein el-Sultan camp, Tel Jericho (also known as ancient Jericho), and the archaeological area in Wadi Qelt in a provocative manner, spurring confrontations with Palestinian youths.
No injuries or arrests were reported.
Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by the Israeli authorities.
A Palestinian child was hit and injured by a gas canister, also on Friday, fired by Israeli occupation forces at non-violent protesters taking part in the weekly anti-colonisation protest in the village of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus.
At the same time, many others suffocated from tear gas in the village, according to medical sources.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said Israeli occupation soldiers fired rubber-coated rounds, gas canisters and stun grenades at the protesters to disperse them, hitting a child with a canister in his hand and causing many others to suffocate from gas inhalation.
All of those injured were treated at the scene by local medics.
The protesters were demonstrating at calls from the Land Defence Committee and the Colonisation and Wall Resistance Commission against Israeli plans to take over large tracts of Palestinian lands in the village for the expansion of the colonial Israeli settlements surrounding the village.

  • The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates announced on Friday the decision of the state of Palestine to classify anew and upgrade its diplomatic mission in Mexico from ‘Palestine Special Commission’ to the ‘Embassy of the State of Palestine’ starting this upcoming Thursday.

The ministry, in a statement, said this measure is consistent with the spirit of cooperation and friendship that unites the two countries as reflected in the continuous development of bilateral and multilateral relations.
It said it is strongly convinced that this measure will contribute significantly to the continued development and strengthening of relations between Mexico and the State of Palestine on the basis of respect and mutual recognition for the benefit of the two peoples and international peace, security, and development.

  • The Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs on Friday warned against the Israeli occupation practices, pursuant to instructions from the Israeli intelligence, in their pursuit and repeated abuse of freed Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Zahran.

The commission, in a statement issued on Friday, explained that Zahran has stayed out of prison for a short time only ever since his release from Israeli jails two years ago after serving a 20-year sentence.
It added that Zahran’s home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem has been frequently subjected to raids and vandalism.
He was re-detained following his release and spent around nine months in Israeli jails and has also spent time in hospital after being assaulted by Israeli forces.