RAMALLAH, Friday, August 12, 2022 (WAFA) – Heads of Mission of the European Union and likeminded countries together with the Ministry of Education visited today Ein Samiya community near Ramallah in light of the imminent threat of demolition of a donor-funded school in the village by the Israeli occupation authorities.
During the visit, representatives met with community members, West Bank Protection Consortium (WBPC) partners, as well as representatives of the Education Cluster and civil society organizations active in the community. They elaborated on the impact the destruction of the school would have as well as on the threats facing schools throughout the West Bank.
On 15 January 2022, the construction of a donor funded purpose-built school was completed, serving 17 children today and is expected to serve more in the 2022-23 academic year. The school addresses the long-standing lack of access to education in Ein Samiya and the surrounding area.
Prior to the school’s construction, children faced the prospect of walking to the next closest school in Ras al Tin, about 9 km away, which also faces imminent risk of demolition by Israeli authorities. This lengthy journey left students vulnerable to harassment, particularly by settlers, since there is no public transportation servicing the community.
This also heightened the risk of school dropout, particularly among girls. Today, the survival of Ein Samiya school is critical not only to the education prospects of its current students, but also those of children from the surrounding area given that settler violence has underpinned the forcible transfer of 19 families in Ras al Tin and left the future of that community’s school hanging in the balance.
So far in 2022, the Israeli occupation authorities have demolished or forced Palestinians to demolish 491 structures, including 81 funded by donors, displacing 626 people, including 302 children, across the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Since the new Israeli government was sworn in on 13 June 2021, 1,031 structures have been demolished, including 177 donor-funded structures, displacing 1,310 Palestinians including 670 children.
“I am here today together with my fellow colleagues from the European Union and other likeminded countries to urge Israel to halt not only the demolition of Ein Samiya School, but all demolitions, evictions, and confiscations on occupied Palestinian land, including donor funded projects,” said the European Union Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.
“The continued practice of demolitions and evictions in Area C and occupied East Jerusalem is in violation of international humanitarian law and must cease. Israel as the occupying power has the obligation to protect the population, including children rights. By pursuing these actions, notably in Area C representing 60% of the West Bank, the continuation of these policies violates international law, undermines the viability of the two-state solution, and the prospect for a lasting peace in the region”.