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Israeli police detain Palestinians for shooting fireworks during Tawjihi celebrations

July 12, 2017 9:21 P.M. (Updated: July 15, 2017 4:00 P.M.)
Palestinians celebrate Tawjihi results in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, July 3, 2015 (MaanImages/Alex Shams/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli police detained four Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday for possessing and shooting off fireworks during celebrations throughout the occupied Palestinian territory following the announcement of official results from Palestine’s secondary school examinations, known in Arabic as “Tawjihi.” 

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that the four were detained after being found in possession of fireworks and using the fireworks during Tawjihi celebrations. 

Al-Samri said that the Israeli police have worked to fight against the “dangerous phenomenon of launching fireworks,” which is a usual occurrence following announcements of Tawjihi results. 

Fireworks, she said, have served to “terrify people,” and has injured people and damaged properties

She noted that Israeli police had also detained two Palestinian “suspects” on Tuesday from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir for using fireworks, adding that several boxes of fireworks were found in a courtyard of a house in the neighborhood. 

The Tawjihi certificate is equivalent to a high school completion certificate, and is required for students who wish to pursue undergraduate studies. Not only is the certificate required for university admissions, the score on the test determines which field of study (Medicine, Engineering, Finance, etc.) a student will be allowed to pursue.

This testing system is implemented in Palestine as well as other Arab countries, and due to the definitive and determinate nature of the exams, they are known to generate high levels of stress among the student populations.

As a result, when testing is finished and the final results are publicly announced by the Palestinian Ministry of Education, loud celebrations ensue, with thousands of Palestinian students taking to the street to honk their car horns and shoot off fireworks -- a typical scene for most Palestinian celebrations, including weddings and prisoner releases.
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