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From the field

Israel demolishes school serving 80 children in Jub a-Dib on eve of new school year

Demolition follows on heels of destruction of two other educational facilities in Area C

On the evening of Tuesday, 22 August 2017, at around 7:00 P.M. Israeli Civil Administration officials and security forces arrived at the village of Jub a-Dib, southeast of Bethlehem. The forces demolished the community's recently constructed school building. The demolition, which ended around midnight, took place the night before the start of the Palestinian school year, and left eighty pupils without an educational facility. In previous years, the children of Jub a-Dib had to walk to school in the Dar Salah and Beit Ta'mir areas, outside the village.

The demolition of a school building the night before the start of the year epitomizes the administrative cruelty and systematic harassment by authorities designed to drive Palestinians from their land. In late June, the Civil Administration confiscated solar panels installed in Jub a-Dib by Israeli-Palestinian nonprofit Comet-ME and financed by the Dutch government, after Israel consistently shirked its obligation to connect the village to the electric grid.

The school consisted of six pre-fabs donated by the European Union, that the security forces dismantled and confiscated. The area was declared a closed military zone, and security forces used stun grenades to keep residents away.

Recently, Israeli authorities damaged two other educational facilities in Palestinian communities: in Abu a-Nuwar, on 9 August 2017, the Civil Administration confiscated solar panels donated by the international community, that provided electricity to the school and kindergarten.

On 21 August 2017, at around 5:00 A.M., Civil Administration personnel accompanied by around fifty soldiers, Police and Border Police officers arrived at the Badu al-Baba community which is located near al-‘Eizariyah, northeast of Jerusalem. They dismantled and confiscated a pre-fab that had been placed there around three weeks prior, to serve as a kindergarten for 25 local children aged 4-6, who do not have an alternative educational facility. The forces confiscated the equipment in the kindergarten: 10 desks, 30 chairs, two cabinets and a blackboard. The caravan and equipment were funded by the community and valued at approximately NIS 10,000.