While the first day of school is a great day and a step towards new beginnings for students all over the world. It is the opposite in Masafer Yatta. Around 100 students in Al- Fakheet School and 50 students in Jinba school are under the threat of losing their right to education after the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal regarding the demolition of these schools.
Jinba and Al- Fakheet are two of the 8 villages of Masafer Yatta that the Israeli occupation regime classified as a firing zone ‘918’ in the 1980s. Schools in this area are subjected to various Israeli apartheid practices and policies as well as settlers and army violence.
Every day, The Israeli occupation forces disrupt classes for hours by detaining Students of Jinba and Al- Fakheet and preventing them from accessing their schools. On September 8 the Israeli occupation soldiers denied teachers and students’ access to their schools in the village of Jinba and Al- Fakhiet. They arrested a teacher and confiscated his vehicle. On September 4th, Sinamar Jalal Al-Omour, 7, fainted due to a sunstroke after the Israeli occupation soldiers detained him for hours in the sun, along with other students and teachers on their way to the School of Jinba, The army did not provide any medical aid to Sinamar.
Haitham Abu Sabha, Principal of Masafer Yatta Secondary School in Al-Fakhiet, warns “Even though families send their children to schools, they fear losing their children’s lives. Students are also in a continuous state of fear, anxiety, and tension. However, we count on the steadfastness of our people along with the local and international support and solidarity”
Israeli Apartheid regime deprives Palestinian students of accessing the right to education by imposing its colonial policies in order to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their ancestral land. These policies are represented in the frequent demolition of existing schools in Area C as well as preventing the construction of new schools in addition to prohibiting students’ and teachers’ access to these schools through continuous army and settlers’ harassment.
Education is particularly targeted by Israeli forces within the framework of their larger apartheid and ethnic cleansing strategy because an educated and conscious people has ore tools to resist oppression and to fight for their human rights. The Israeli Apartheid regime believes that the presence of schools in the targeted areas strengthens the steadfastness and hope of the Palestinian people in Masafer Yatta and hence prevents Israeli settlements’ expansion and annexation.
What is happening to Masafer Yatta’s schools is part of Israel’s systematic plan to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from the area. It is a core element of a long-standing and all-encompassing strategy to serve colonization and annexation.
In 2020, Stop the Wall launched the Right to Education Campaign which focuses on supporting the Palestinian right to education in Area ‘C’ on the ground and internationally.