Arabic Letter Distributed to Jerusalem Parents With Guidelines on Keeping Kids From Committing Terror Attacks
The Jerusalem Municipality’s education authority (JEA) on Tuesday issued guidelines to parents of students in east Jerusalem state schools for recognizing symptoms of distress among their children that could lead to dangerous behavior, the Israeli news website nrg reported on Tuesday.
The Arabic guidelines include warnings about signs of distress that might indicate a child is under the influence of incitement, and advice on how to handle it. This includes keeping a much more watchful eye on the kids and letting them know they are being protected and supported at home.
The letter tells parents that in the event they sense unusual behavioral patterns, which arouse concern or suspicion, they should contact guidance counsellors or health and welfare authorities.
“During this period,” it stresses, “You must prevent your children from having access to, and the option of acquiring, dangerous objects like knives.”
These guidelines were spelled out in Arabic in a letter, 20,000 copies of which have already been distributed.
This measure was a response to the recent growing phenomenon among Palestinian and Israeli Arab youngsters to be swept up in social media and other forms of incitement, arousing in them the desire to become “martyrs for Allah” by killing Jews. Most of the teens who have committed attacks during the current surge in terrorism have come from normative homes; and many of their parents have expressed helplessness against incitement on Facebook, Twitter and from their kids’ peers in the streets of their neighborhoods.
The JEA move came on the heels of a specific case of an eighth-grade girl from the neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, who went to school yesterday (Tuesday) and left behind a note in which she announced her intention to become a “martyr.” Her father, who found the declaration, immediately took it to the school principal, who called the JEA. A joint police-JEA team went out to search for the girl, with her father and some of her classmates in tow, to try and find her before she committed an act of terrorism. The girl was found at the Lions’ Gate of the Old City — the site of a number of stabbing attacks against Israelis — and taken in for questioning.
On the same day, JEA deputy head Yoav Zamran attended a meeting of the Knesset Education Committee and reported on the letter that was being circulated in Arab neighborhoods of the city. In addition, he said, “We instructed all of the city’s schools to conduct discussions on the importance of coexistence (between Jews and Arabs), and about the Internet, where much of the confusion among students is created.”