In a move that may be a reaction to a surge of anti-Israeli violence in recent months, a primary school in Israel’s capital has ordered its students to leave for a week to teach about the Palestinian Authority (PA) as well as the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Jerusalem School of Public Service announced that from Wednesday it will close its doors to students for a three-day period beginning Tuesday, Aug. 26.
“We believe this is the right decision,” said a statement from the school, which is run by the nonprofit Education Ministry.
The school’s announcement comes after several high-profile Israeli and Palestinian demonstrations erupted on Aug. 20 and 21, culminating in the killing of an Israeli settler by Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
The move comes after the Palestinian Health Ministry issued a statement on Monday warning of a “dangerous rise in incitement” against Israel and the PA, which it said has been “abusing” Israel’s security forces and security agencies in the West.
In the past few weeks, Israel and Hamas have both said they will take measures to clamp down on the activities of Palestinian activists, particularly after the killing last week of a security guard in Hebron by a Palestinian who was later shot dead by Israel.
According to the statement, the Palestinian security guards’ murder was a “direct attack on the legitimate Palestinian Authority and its rule of law” and “is an act of terrorism that will not be tolerated.”
Israel has long used its vast military force to suppress the movement of Palestinians across the occupied territories, and it has repeatedly struck at it from the air with airstrikes.
The PA has condemned the Israeli attacks as illegal.
The Palestinian Authority has said that it will not negotiate with Israel over the PA’s security and security infrastructure and will not accept any Israeli annexation of the West’s West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.