Israeli troops stormed the village with tear gas and grenades. For Palestinian Education Ministry, rebuilding the school is a challenge to Israel’s colonial policies. Five schools are at risk in the area.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The new school of Jubbet al-Dhib, a village in the Bethlehem district, was inaugurated yesterday morning.
The structure had been dismantled a month ago by Israeli soldiers. Activists and employees of the Palestinian Education Ministry rebuilt the facility overnight Friday, a day before the start of the school year.
For Israel, the school is “illegal" because it is built without the necessary permits.
Israeli forces stormed the village Saturday evening, surrounded the construction site, and attacked activists with tear gas, stun grenades, and bullets, sparking fears that Israeli authorities might destroy the school once again.
A spokesperson for the Israeli Civil Administration said that "work tools were confiscated" as a result of the raid, but that for now, the structure is still standing.
The newly rebuilt school was named ‘Challenge 5 School’, because it was the fifth school to be built by the Ministry in areas threatened by Israeli settlement construction.
These schools are within Area C, which is under Israeli military control, near military outposts and Jewish settlements.
For Palestinian Education Minister Sabri Saydam, rebuilding the school was a challenge to the "occupation's policies, which seek to deprive the schoolchildren of safe education."
Jubbet al-Dhib’s school is the third West Bank school to be demolished or deprived of equipment since August after the demolition of the only Bedouin kindergarten in Jabal al-Baba and the confiscation of solar panels from a school in the village of Abu Nuwar.
In July, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that Israeli restrictions in Area C had made it “virtually impossible” for Palestinians to obtain building permits there.
According to OCHA, as a result of such Israeli policies, more than a third of Palestinian communities in Area C lack primary schools.
For its part, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) noted that some 55 schools in the occupied West Bank are threatened with demolition and stop-work orders by Israeli authorities, many of them built with funding from the European Union member states.