Ministry of Education, Shin Bet says cooperating to identify teachers who support terrorism

The Education Ministry has started working with the Shin Bet security service to identify teachers who support or are involved in terrorism, the Kan public broadcaster reported Monday.

In an effort to root out those who support terrorism from the education system, the Shin Bet reportedly agreed to pass information it obtained on possible suspects to the ministry.

The new procedure was introduced after two recent terrorist attacks by Arab education personnel, as well as other incidents of comments made by Arab teachers on social media, according to the report.

The terrorist who carried out a deadly stabbing and stabbing attack in Beersheba in March has been identified as Israeli Arab Mohammad Ghaleb Abu al-Qi’an from the southern Bedouin town of Hura, a former schoolteacher and supporter of the Islamic State, who had served a prison sentence. on terrorism charges.

And in November last year, Hamas member Fadi Abu Shkhaydam, who was a teacher at a Palestinian high school in Jerusalem, shot dead Eli Kay and injured several others in an attack in the capital’s Old City. Abu Shkhaydam worked at an Islamic high school for boys, the Rashidiya School, just outside the Old City and was an employee of the Jerusalem Municipality.

According to the report, Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton in March ordered its Director General, Dalit Stauber, to summon to a hearing an educator suspected of praising Diaa Hamarsheh on her Facebook page. , the Palestinian terrorist who carried out an act of terror in March Bnei Brak bombing that killed five people, including a policeman.

Mohammad Ghaleb Abu al-Qi’an. (Courtesy)

Israeli Arab MP, Coalition Labor MK Ibtisam Mara’ana, responded to the Kan report by tweeting that she had sent a letter to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Shasha-Biton asking them to explain under what circumstances the decision was taken to implement the procedure.

In the letter, which was also sent to the chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Mara’ana further demanded to know what methods will be used to locate the suspects.

The existence of cooperation between the ministry and the Shin Bet was revealed during a closed meeting of the Knesset Education Committee.

Ibtisam Mara’ana at the Knesset in Jerusalem on December 7, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Several MKs who attended the committee meeting said they were told that in a recent meeting between the Shin Bet chief and the ministry’s director-general, it was decided that the agency would forward to the Education Ministry. the information she gets about teaching. personnel suspected of supporting or being involved in terrorism.

The meeting itself was reportedly noisy, with clashes between Joint List MK Ofer Cassif and Likud MK Keti Shitrit. Another meeting on the matter, the fourth of its kind to date, is to be held later Monday, according to the report.

In November, Kan reported that security officials were considering requiring prospective teachers in East Jerusalem to undergo background checks before being accepted for positions in municipal schools.

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