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Israeli Supreme Court to rule on demolition of 'tire school' in E1

April 27, 2014 4:56 P.M. (Updated: April 28, 2014 12:53 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A school made of tires in the sensitive E1 area east of Jerusalem is slated for destruction by Israel, but its case is being reviewed by the Supreme Court, a local spokesman told Ma'an.

Eid Khamis Sweilim, a spokesman of Bedouin communities in Jerusalem district, told Ma'an that the school in the Bedouin village of al-Khan al-Ahmar houses 128 pupils aged eight to 13 from five different Bedouin communities.

Shortly after it was built, Israeli settlers from nearby Kfar Adumim appealed to Israeli courts requesting the school be demolished, and it has since faced repeated demolition threats, Sweilim said.

The Area-C village's residential structures have also been threatened with demolition, as they were built without Israeli permission after their construction permit applications were denied by Israeli authorities.

"A structural plan for the Bedouin communities has been submitted to the Israeli Civil Administration, but it was rejected," Sweilim said, adding that the plan was funded by the British consulate-general in Jerusalem.

Bedouins in al-Khan al-Ahmar appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court against demolition threats, and a decision on the matter is expected to be made on May 15, Sweilim said.

The school was built by villagers and international volunteers in 2009, constructed using tires, clay, and a wooden roof because Israeli authorities forbade the use of stone and concrete.

Funding for the school was provided by European donors.

Al-Khan al-Ahmar is a Bedouin village surrounded by the illegal Israeli settlements of Maale Adumim and Kfar Adumim.

E1 is an area northeast of Jerusalem and west of the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim. Israeli plans for settlement construction in the area have been strongly opposed by the international community, including the US.

Critics say Israeli settlement construction in E1 would divide the West Bank in two and make the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state -- as envisaged by the internationally backed two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict -- virtually impossible.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
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