Israel demolishes two UN-funded school buildings in Palestinian refugee camp

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Third and fourth grade Palestinian children studying on the rubble of their classrooms in Abu Nuwar, on Feb 4, 2018. (photo: Tamer Bana / WAFA Images)

This is the sixth demolition or confiscation incident in Abu Nuwar school by the Israeli authorities since February 2016.

By Wafa | Feb 4, 2018


“Abu Nuwar is one of the most vulnerable communities in need of humanitarian assistance in the occupied West Bank. The conditions it faces also represent those of many Palestinian communities, where a combination of Israeli policies and practices — including demolitions and restricted access to basic services, such as education — have created a coercive environment that violates the human rights of residents and generates a risk of forcible transfer.”
— Roberto Valent, United Nations acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories


United Nations acting Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories, Roberto Valent, said on Sunday that he was deeply concerned by Israel’s destruction of donor-funded classrooms in the Palestinian community of Abu Nuwar, east of Jerusalem.

“I am deeply concerned by the Israeli authorities’ demolition this morning of two donor-funded classrooms (3rd and 4th grade), serving 26 Palestinian school children in the Bedouin and refugee community of Abu Nuwar, located in Area C on the outskirts of Jerusalem,” Valent said in a statement. “The demolition was carried out on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.”

Valent expressed concern regarding the status of Palestinian school children and schools in the Israeli army controlled Area C of the occupied West Bank saying, “As in Abu Nuwar, hundreds of children attending one of at least 45 schools in the West Bank (37 in Area C and 8 in East Jerusalem) with pending demolition orders, are living in instability, with the specter of school demolition ever-present, threatening their access to education. Other children in Area C communities lacking a primary school often must walk or travel long distances to reach their schools and are exposed to settler harassment or searches at checkpoints. These constraints undermine the quality of education and increase the chances of early dropout.”

He called on the Israeli authorities “to fulfill their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law and immediately cease all practices that are directly or indirectly generating a risk of forcible transfer for Palestinians in various parts of the West Bank, including the destruction of schools and related property.”

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