The commencement of the scholastic year in Palestine is once again marked by Israeli tactics to disrupt not only a smooth transition for students and teachers, but also the foundations of a society that can, in due course, construct a political reality that challenges the colonial repression.
Last Tuesday, Israeli forces removed mobile classes from an elementary school in Jib al-Deeb, a village located east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of the facilities being put up and used without official permission. Around 60 students have now been deprived of their education until alternative premises are found by the education department. Attempts by the villagers to prevent the soldiers from confiscating the mobile classes were met with excessive force, as soldiers fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets.
Bedouin kindergarten children also woke up to the disappearance of their school on the outskirts of Jerusalem which was built with funding from the European Union. Not content with demolishing the school, which the Israeli Civil Administration (COGAT) described as “an illegal tin and wood shed” to divert attention away from obstructing Palestinian children’s right to education, the village served by the school was also threatened with demolitions, according to Ma’an news agency. Teachers and students turned up for their first day at school to gaze upon destruction, prompting the Norweigan Refugee Council director for Palestine, Hanibal Abiy Worku, to state: “What threat do these schools pose to the Israeli authorities? What are they planning to achieve by denying thousands of children their right to education?”
Meanwhile, Palestinian children in Jerusalem were prevented by the Israeli police from entering their schools in Al-Aqsa compound for carrying textbooks to school. Israel has been seeking to enforce an Israeli curriculum upon Palestinian schools in a bid to eliminate the teaching of Palestinian history. Schools resisting the Israeli interference have been heavily penalised through the withdrawal of financial aid. Read more.