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Israel's education ministry 'suspends program' over Palestinian novel

Dec. 5, 2012 10:05 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 10, 2012 10:58 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israel's Ministry of Education has suspended a literature program for fifth graders because a Palestinian novel was on its syllabus, Israeli media reported Wednesday.

The ministry suspended the program after parents complained that pupils were asked to read and summarize "The little lamp," a book by renowned Palestinian novelist Ghassan Kanafani, Maariv newspaper reported.

The literature program is funded by the Jerusalem-based Abraham Fund Initiative, an NGO to advance coexistence.

The ministry says the problem is with the author rather than his novel. Kanafani, who was assassinated in 1972, was a spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

As a result, the ministry decided to suspend the program to study it very deeply and decide whether to resume it or cancel it.

This version corrects that Kanafani was assassinated in 1972, not 1976.
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