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Israel bans entry of Minister of Education to Beit Iksa village

Sept. 23, 2018 10:23 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 24, 2018 1:01 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities banned on Sunday the Palestinian Minister of Education, Sabri Saydam, from entering the Beit Iksa village, in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.

The Ministry of Education said in a press release that Israeli forces banned Saydam and the accompanying delegation from entering the Beit Iksa village through its checkpoint, on the Israeli segregation barrier, which is under Israeli military control.

Israeli authorities withdrew Saydam’s permit allowing entry to Israel, preventing him from entering Jerusalem, which the ministry considered as part of a deliberate campaign against Saydam and the educational leadership.

The purpose of Saydam’s visit to Beit Iksa was to inspect the educational process in the village.

The ministry condemned the Israeli authorities measures aimed at undermining the educational sector, which is considered the true lever of the Palestinian people.

The ministry called on all local and international human rights organizations to protect education and to repel the inciting occupation campaign against it and against the educational leadership.

Although Beit Iksa is located immediately next to Jerusalem, the village's lands have been progressively confiscated and the village is surrounded on all sides by the Israeli separation wall. Villagers can no longer travel to Jerusalem without permits, and Palestinians not resident in Beit Iksa cannot enter the single Israeli checkpoint that allows access to the village.

Ninety-three percent of the village is under full Israeli military control, and a majority of the total land of the village falls in areas outside of the separation wall, meaning they have been de facto confiscated, including about 1,500 dunums (371 acres) where Jewish-only settlements have been built.

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