Destroying hope and the means of education – as well as the future – for Palestinian children and youth, Israeli military forces have ramped up the demolition of Palestinian schools, demolishing a school in a Bedouin community in the West Bank city of Hebron.
"Israeli bulldozers brought down the al-Tahadi 13 school without any prior notice," Rateb Jabour told Anadolu Agency (AA). He said the school, which accommodates about 50 students, was scheduled to open later this week. According to Jabour, Israeli forces cited construction without a permit as the reason to demolish the school. He said the school was part of a program by the Palestinian Education Ministry to build mobile classrooms for children in vulnerable communities across Area C in the southern West Bank.
Under the 1995 Oslo agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was divided into Areas A, B and C. Area A falls under the administrative and security control of the PA; Area B falls under the administrative control of the PA and the security control of Israel; and Area C falls under the administrative and security control of Israel. Area C is currently home to around 300,000 Palestinians, the vast majority of whom are Bedouins and herding communities who predominantly live in tents, caravans and caves.
Last month, Israeli military forces tore down a tent that was being used as a classroom for Palestinian students in the Jordan Valley region of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. In October, Israeli forces, using the same excuse, dismantled a number of makeshift classrooms set up for Palestinian students in the same area.
Palestinian schools have long been subjected to Israeli violence. In February, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that at least 45 schools in Palestine were facing the threat of destruction by the Israeli authority. In a statement, the OCHA acting coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, Roberto Valent, pointed out that a Palestinian school in East Jerusalem was destroyed by Israeli soldiers and added: "The demolition was carried out on the grounds of a lack of Israeli-issued permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain." The Ramallah-based Palestinian government called for urgent international action to stop Israeli behavior that violates Palestinian children's right to an education.