Dozens of Palestinian children will rally on Monday to call on the international community and global leaders to intervene to prevent the demolition of their school. The children, whose ages range between 8 to 16 years old, are from the Jahalin tribe that has for decades lived on the hills in the periphery of Jerusalem. The tyre school – funded by the Italian government – is the only school for children from Al Khan Al Ahmar and neighbouring communities.
On May 24th 2018, the Israeli High Court ruled against an injunction by the community, paving the way for the Israeli military to demolish the school and other community structures and playing the entire community at imminent risk of forcible transfer. Over 200 homes and community structures are slated for demolition in the area.
The community in Al Khan al Ahmar-Abu is one of the 46 Bedouin communities in the central West Bank that the United Nations considers at risk of forcible transfer. Forcible transfer is defined as a war crime under international law.
According to Save the Children there are currently 36 school’s under threat of demolition.
Dr. Sabri Saidam, the Palestinian Minister of Education, said “we call upon our friends in the international community to protect children’s universal right to education. This school in the community of Al Khan al Ahmar is built with European funding and we urge European politicians and tax payers to join these children to help them save their school and to hold Israel to account for violations that threaten children’s rights to education and their wellbeing”.
“Two years ago, Palestine joined the growing list of countries to sign the Safe Schools Declaration. We have committed fully to adopting the guidelines to ‘support the protection of students, teachers, schools, and universities from attack”.
“I call upon our friends and partners in the international community and our counterparts in the Israeli government to commit to these guidelines and support our efforts to protect our future generations by ensuring safe access to education”.