Israel Arrests Palestinian Students in First Week of School

In the first week of the new academic year, a number of Palestinian students in the West Bank were arrested by Israeli armed forces. It proves that Palestinian education is very unsafe and improper for the students.

Palestine educational crisis.
Illustration. In the first week of the new academic year, a number of Palestinian students are arrested by Israeli forces. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

ACTNews, WEST BANK – On Wednesday (9/1/2021), Israeli armed forces reportedly arrested four Palestinian students from their houses in Bethlehem, West Bank. The four students are Yousef Jamal al-Harimi (15), Adam Ayyad (15), Mansour Saleh Faraj (16), and Issa Muhammad Zarina (17). All of them are students of Al-Mahd School who just started to get back at school this week.

Manar al-Harimi, sister of Yousef, described their fear and anxieties when Israeli soldiers raided their house at 3 a.m to arrest Yousef.

"They knocked on the door loudly, and my father who works later was not home at the time," said Harimi, quoted from the Middle East Eye.

The soldiers then forced their mother to sign several documents declaring that Yousef was not subjected to any violence during the raid.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the family was still not aware where Yousef was being held, nor the soldiers informed them about his whereabouts. "Youssef is a young child and has never been arrested. We demand his immediate release," she Harimi. 

Mohammad Ayyad, a brother of Adam Ayyad who was also arrested an hour after Yousef’s arrest also shared the same story. "We were shocked by Adam's arrest, we never expected it. He is a young child who is supposed to be on his way back from school right about now," said Mohammad. 

Hundreds of Palestinian teenagers are arrested by the Israeli military every year in nightly raids, violating the military's own regulations with regard to issuing summons for interrogation before detention.

Firdaus Guritno from ACT’s Global Humanity Response explains that the arrest of Palestinian students is proving how difficult it is for Palestinian students to achieve a safe and proper education.

“In addition to the arrest by Israeli forces, Palestinian students also face other obstacles to be able to learn at their schools such as inadequate educational facilities and unaffordable school tuition,” explained Firdaus.[]