The European Union and like-minded countries visit Ein Samiya school amid threats of its demolition

Ramallah/PNN/

Representatives from the EU and like-minded countries visited today the Ein Samiya community near Ramallah. The visit comes in light of the serious risk of demolition of a donor-funded school, which currently provides access to education for children in Ein Samiya and neighboring herder communities.

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. Local residents and civil society organizations as well as Consortium and Cluster members briefed on the specific threat to the Ein Samiya school. They elaborated on the impact the destruction of the school would have as well as the threats facing schools throughout the West Bank.

On 15 January 2022, the construction of a donor-funded purpose-built school was completed, with classes beginning shortly afterward. It consists of four classrooms and will eventually serve some 30 students aged between 6 and 12, addressing 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.

So far in 2022, the Israeli authorities have demolished or forced Palestinians to demolish 78 structures, including 24 funded by donors, displacing 105 people, including 50 children, across the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Since the new Israeli government was sworn in on 13 June 2021, 458 structures have been demolished, including 79 donor-funded structures, displacing 578 Palestinians including 290 children.

Representatives from the EU and like-minded countries urge Israel to halt demolitions, evictions, and confiscations on occupied Palestinian land, including donor-funded projects. The continuation of these policies violates international law, undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for lasting peace in the region.

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