For most children, the start of school is a time of excitement, but for children of a Bedouin community in Khan al Ahmar, West Bank, this school year will be filled with fear and uncertainty.
Israeli settlers from the Kfar Adumim settlement petitioned to have the school suspend operations before students return from summer break, as they push for a quick demolition of the school completely.
The school, made out of scrap tires and mud, serves 80 children from an overlooked and extremely vulnerable Bedouin community.If the school in Khan al Ahmar is destroyed, these children will have to walk nearly 19 miles to Jericho to attend school.Faced with such challenging obstacles, most children will drop out of school and miss out on an education altogether.
The Israeli practice of demolition, which has increased sharply in the first half of 2011 despite being against international law, continues to devastate Palestinian families and communities in Area C – the 60% of the West Bank controlled by Israel. Many of the people affected already live in poverty, and children are often the hardest hit.Click here to watch an Al Jazeera report about the demolitions in Khan al Ahmar.
Tell Congress that Israel must meet its obligations under international law:
- Immediately cease demolitions of Palestinian-owned homes, schools and infrastructure, which cause displacement and dispossession, until Palestinians have access to a fair and nondiscriminatory planning system. This should include community participation in all levels of the planning process;
- Families that have been forcibly displaced must be allowed to return to their homes in safety and dignity, and be given compensation for any harm they have suffered, including the destruction of land, homes and property.
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Let's make sure these children get the education they deserve.