West News Wire: In the occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers bulldozed a Palestinian primary school on Sunday. Citing security concerns, they faced harsh criticism from the European Union, which had supported the project. 

As bulldozers entered the construction site at Jabbet al-Dhib hamlet near Bethlehem, Palestinians threw rocks at Israeli troops, who responded by shooting tear gas at them. 

The EU declared itself “appalled” when Israeli forces showed up to the school site at daybreak. According to a Palestinian Authority official, the school had five classrooms and serviced 45 kids. 

The West Bank has been under Israeli control since the Six-Day War in 1967. There are about 2.9 million Palestinians living in the region. Additionally, there are some 475,000 Jewish settlers who reside in state-approved settlements that are prohibited by international law. 

A trailer and classrooms constructed of tin sheeting were cleared out of their contents before the demolition, an AFP correspondent said. 

Following an order from a Jerusalem court, COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry organisation in charge of monitoring civilian matters in the occupied territories, set a two-month deadline for leaving the property in March. 

The organisation had concluded that the school was “built illegally” and was a “safety hazard”. 

The school, according to Ahmed Naser of the Palestinian Ministry of Education, rebuilt one that Israel had destroyed in 2019. 

Naser claimed that Israel “wants to confiscate these lands” despite its remote position, which he claimed hinders the “displacement and forced eviction” of local Palestinians. 

“Stop all demolitions and evictions, which will only worsen the suffering of the Palestinian population and further exacerbate an already tense environment,” the EU urged Israel to respond. 

Read More
EU envoy to visit Iran to help finalize delayed nuclear talks

“Demolitions are illegal under international law, and children’s rights to education must be respected,” the office of the EU representative to the Palestinian Territories stated in a statement. 

A delegation of UN experts had demanded action in January to halt Israel’s “systematic and deliberate” demolition of Palestinian buildings. 

Israel is attempting to restrict the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and to endanger their basic life, the experts said in a statement. As a result, Israel is directly attacking the homes, schools, places of employment, and water sources of the Palestinian people. 

Israeli officials decided to postpone the demolition awaiting a court appeal, according to Mubarak Zawahrah, leader of the Beit Tamar local council where the school was located, who spoke to AFP on Wednesday. 

“But the Israeli army ignored that and just demolished it,” he said. 

Naser, the education ministry official, said a tent would be erected on Monday on the site with basic infrastructure to replace the demolished structures. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here