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Palestinian Children Begin School Out in the Open

Palestinian elementary school students have officially started school, but not in the usual classrooms or safe conditions we are used to. 

These young school children started the first day of the academic year outdoors, in the open air, because their school was demolished by Israeli occupation forces in May. 

Located in the occupied Palestinian village of Jibb Al-Deeb, the school is now open to its 45 students on the site of its former building. It is one of 17 Tahadi schools, many of which have been demolished or are under threat of demolition. 

School Headmistress Shireen Abu Taha said that the situation for the students and teaching staff is very difficult, and that the education process cannot continue under such conditions.

In May, Israeli occupation forces demolished the school, citing safety issues, while drawing criticism from the European Union, which had funded its construction. In January this year, a group of United Nations experts had called for action to stop Israel’s “systematic and deliberate” demolition of Palestinian structures.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry recently said the attacks were being carried out under the direct protection and support of the regime forces.

Another group of Palestinian school children, along with their teachers, were detained on their way to school at an illegal Israeli checkpoint in Hebron. 

Human rights groups have called it collective punishment as the Israeli military sealed off the city, closing off all entrances and exits, while holding the school children in the process. 

While access to education and schooling is a basic human right all children should have, the Israeli occupation has denied even that to Palestinians.

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