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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Algeria orders 'immediate' recall of textbooks showing Israel, not Palestine

Report says the Ministry of Education has opened an investigation into books' publisher over the maps

Algeria's Minister of Education Nouria Benghabrit-Remaoun, has ordered the "immediate withdrawal" of elementary school level geography books after it was discovered that maps of the Middle East show Israel instead of Palestine, the Ennahar news site reports.

According to the report, the Ministry of Education has also opened an investigation into the publisher of the book over the maps.

The dominant religion in Algeria is Sunni Islam, and the north African country backs the Palestinian cause.

Algeria's Jewish population, which numbered around 130,000 when a war of independence from France broke out in 1954, is tiny, although no official figures are available.

The vast majority left during the war, and those who remained were targeted by hardline Islamists during the bloody decade of civil strife, when two of their leaders were assassinated and synagogues closed.

Algeria has been ranked among the top five most anti-Semitic countries in the world.

Last week Algeria's women's Paralympic goalball team was investigated by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) after failing to show for its matches against the US and Israel.

The team claimed it has suffered a number of setbacks in its journey to Brazil, missing a bus and then a flight, as well as having had one flight canceled.

But the IPC opened the investigation due to suspicions that the seven members of the Algerian team deliberately didn't show in order to boycott their second-round match against Israel.

A friendly soccer match between Ghana and Algeria scheduled to take place in September was cancelled in July over Algeria's opposition to the Ghana team's Israeli coach

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