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Palestinian PM slams Israel for demolition of Bedouin classrooms in E1

Feb. 5, 2018 5:23 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 7, 2018 10:27 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces demolished two classrooms in the Palestinian bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar on Sunday, located in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.

The school in Abu Nuwwar was built and funded by the European Union in 2017 in order to provide the opportunity for a more accessible education to students in the village, who previously had to travel several kilometers by foot to the nearest school.

More than 25 students were affected by the demolition of the two classrooms.

The entire school serves more than 60 students in Abu Nuwwar which is home to 600 Palestinians.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah released a statement on Monday condemning the demolition, saying "besides the fact that such a demolition contravenes international humanitarian law, this latest attack is directed against Palestinian schoolchildren, and is simply immoral.”

“The right to education is universal and enshrined in several treaties, such as the Conventions of the Right of the Child, of which Israel is a signatory,” Hamadall pointed out.

"Denying Palestinian children their right to education, not to mention other fundamental rights, is a deliberate policy of the Israeli authorities to pressure Palestinian communities to leave, in order to confiscate their land and build additional settlements," warned the prime minister.

"Under international law, Palestinians living under military occupation have the status of 'protected persons' which prohibit the occupying power from undertaking actions that violate their inherent rights. The Israeli plans to 'relocate' several Palestinian communities amount to forced transfer, which is defined as a war crime under the Rome Statute," Hamdallah concluded.

Abu Nuwwar, like other Bedouin communities in the region, is under threat of forcible transfer by Israel for being located in the contentious “E1 corridor” set up by the Israeli government to link annexed East Jerusalem with the mega settlement of Maale Adumim.

Israeli authorities plan to build thousands of homes for Jewish-only settlements in E1, which would effectively divide the West Bank and make the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state -- as envisaged by the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict -- almost impossible.

In August 2017, Israeli authorities seized solar panels that powered an elementary and preschool in Abu Nuwwar despite a petition against the seizure having been filed to the Israeli Supreme court, which issued a restraining order against the confiscation an hour after the panels were taken.

Israel has come under repeated international condemnation over demolitions of EU-funded structures, with some accusing the Israeli government of demolishing Palestinian structures in retaliation for the EU’s decision in November to enforce labeling laws that would indicate if a product was produced in one of Israel’s 196 illegal settlements.
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