Today, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah issued a statement reiterating his support for the Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar, where Israeli authorities have ordered the immediate shut down of its only school.
“Everyone is entitled to education; it is a fundamental human right,” said Prime Minister Hamdallah. “We stand with the community of Khan al Ahmar and we commend all those who are supporting it.”
Jamal Dajani, Director of Strategic Communications & Media at the Prime Minister’s Office, said that Israel uses every excuse in the book to prevent the advancement of Palestinian communities in Area C.
“Is Palestinian education a threat to Israel?” Dajani asked. “Israel should not be allowed to deprive our children of educational opportunities,” he added.
Dozens of human rights activists, diplomats and government representatives gathered today in front of Khan al Ahmar Basic School, where Palestinian Minister of Education, Dr. Sabri Saidam, announced the start of the academic year two weeks ahead of schedule, in an act of defiance to the Israeli closure and demolition orders.
Khan Al Ahmar Basic School, located in Area C of the West Bank, accommodates 160 students from five different Bedouin communities. Since 2014, Israeli bulldozers have come to Khan al Ahmar six times and razed the communities’ structures to the ground. The school, which was built in 2009 from mud and tires, currently faces another threat of demolition.
The demolitions carried out in Khan al Ahmar and other communities are part of Israel’s plan to forcibly transfer 2,800 Bedouins living in the Jerusalem periphery.
This is a grave violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that individual or mass forcible transfers are prohibited, regardless of the motive.
According to OCHA, Israel has destroyed over 700 homes and other structures since January, leaving more than a thousand Palestinian homeless.
Many demolitions are carried out in Bedouin communities, who are amongst the most vulnerable and impoverished communities in all the West Bank.