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Israel Shuts Jerusalem School Accused of Hamas Links

JERUSALEM (AFP) –  Israeli police said on Thursday they had closed a private Palestinian school in annexed east Jerusalem, accusing its officials of belonging to the Islamist movement Hamas.

The Al Nkhba School in the Sur Baher district had already been ordered to close by the Israeli education ministry, a decision ratified by a court.

But its director reopened it without authorisation, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.

School officials are “Hamas members,” she said.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is considered a terrorist organisation by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

The school principal, whose name was not disclosed, was questioned by the police before being released, Samri said.

Other staff members could be questioned, she added.

On its Facebook page the school said it housed more than 250 students.

It denounced the “barbaric and unexpected decision” as part of a “fierce attack” by Israeli intelligence based on unfounded allegations.

“We are going to fight to the end to defend the school which got all the (necessary) permits at the beginning of the school year,” it added.

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