Destruction of French-built school aims to pressure local inhabitants to move out of the area
Israeli military bulldozers razed a kindergarten in occupied East Jerusalem
Ramallah: Israeli military bulldozers tore down the only kindergarten in Arab Al Jahalin Bedouin village (Abu Nawar area), east of occupied East Jerusalem, on Sunday.
According to Abu Emad Al Jahalin, the community leader and head of the council of Al Jahalin Bedouin village, the demolition was carried out by hundreds of Israeli occupation forces just a week after the school was opened.
“This is the only educational facility that operates within our community and it was constructed and financed by the French government,” he told Gulf News. “The kindergarten, which accommodates 60 of only grade I and II students, does not pose any kind of threat to the Israeli regime, which shockingly and without a prior notice, demolished the facility. Our little ones must now travel daily to other neighbourhoods like Al Ezareyah or Abu Dis to attend schools.”
Hundreds of Bedouin students travel daily to schools in different areas of the holy city and their families have long been anxious about the safety of their little ones who are put through the daily hardship. The village council sought to address the suffering of pupils who are just six or seven year old when France agreed to fund a caravan school within the community. “This is the only educational facility within our community and village and had been constructed to spare the little ones the daily suffering,” Al Jahalin said.
Israeli occupation forces, who raided the village early in the morning in large numbers, dismantled the school’s caravan classes and clinic, loaded them on to military trucks and took them away.
Al Jahalin said the Israeli occupation forces seized everything in the school including chairs and even the pupils’ files and documents as a punitive measure, leaving the Bedouin families unable to transfer their children to other schools.
The Arab Al Jahalin tribe sticks to a Bedouin lifestyle, herding livestock for a living, since the tribe abandoned agriculture after the Israeli regime confiscated most of their land, leaving the tribe just a tiny plot of land next to the Ma’ale Adumim colony block.
“The Israeli regime is putting massive pressure on the tribe to move out of the area and relocate the local inhabitants in a different site,” said Al Jahalin.
“Only after the demolition did the Israeli occupation forces hand the village council a demolition order citing the lack of a building licence [for the school],” he added.
Arab Al Jahalin village is located in Area C, where Israel exerts complete control on the lives of local inhabitants.
Arab Al Jahalin village has vowed to take the issue of the caravan kindergarten to the Israeli Higher Court of Justice and sue the Israeli occupation forces for the unjustified demolition and to explain its actions to the donor states.
(Source / 21.02.2016)