Palestinian Students Go to School Amidst Israeli Oppression

Palestinian Students Go to School Amidst Israeli Oppression

ACTNews, GAZA STRIP, THE WEST BANK – Living under occupation by the Zionist forces, the Palestinians have been living in insecurity. Their basic right for safety has been taken away from them. They live under the threats of bombardments, military incursions, and unjust detention.

The lack of security also affects the Palestinian students in Palestine. Ahmed Abu Ayesh Al-Najjar, Director of International Relations Office of Palestinian Ministry of Education in Gaza, explained how the students in Palestine also become the targets of attacks by Israeli military and Zionist settlers.

“The psychological state of the students, especially the younger ones, is very bad because of frequent bombardments, incursions, threats and warnings from the Zionists to launch a new war on the people inside the Gaza Strip. Day and night, the Palestinians have to deal with bombardments, sonic booms, threats and warnings from the Zionists. During the Great March of Return, which started in March 2018, hundreds of Palestinians were killed, some of them were children,” said Al-Najjar during his visit to Aksi Cepat Tanggap Office on Friday (2/22).

 The Ministry of Education tries its best to provide psychological support for the students and help to alleviate their psychological burden,” said Abu Ayesh.

The situation in The West Bank is not any safer. The Palestinian children in The West Bank have to go through metal gates and military checkpoints just to get to school. “The situation, by the way, in the West Bank is extremely difficult, extremely bad. It’s a little bit better than the situation in The Gaza Strip because in the West Bank there’s no siege, but there are frequent daily attacks. Olive trees and plantations are being uprooted inside the West Bank. There are also frequent attacks, murders, daily arrests of the people there. The apartheid wall also is making the life of the students extremely difficult because these apartheid walls are built inside the cities in The West Bank. Students have to go through military checkpoints and metal gates to go to school. The attacks from Zionist settlers also make it very difficult for them to get proper education and to be ready to get what they supposed to get in their schools,” stated Al-Najjar.  

Alhamdulillahirabbil’alamin the Ministry of Education trues its best to provide psychological support for the students and help to alleviate their psychological burden,” added Abu Ayesh.

Education in Palestine is hampered by food insecurity, financial crisis and repression from Zionist forces

Increasing number of violence towards Palestinian children

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reported a rise in incidents disrupting schools in West Bank since the beginning of this school year in August 2018. These incidents involving Israeli soldiers and/or settlers include delays and harassment of children travelling to school, at checkpoints and elsewhere; clashes in the vicinity of schools; and violent raids and search operations inside schools.  

At least 17 such incidents recorded by OCHA since the beginning of 2018 (up to mid-November) have resulted in injuries to 323 Palestinians, including 225 children. Of these injuries, three were caused by live ammunition, 15 by rubber bullets, and most of the rest due to tear gas inhalation requiring medical treatment.

One of the incidents involving Palestinian students were the happened on November 12 2018 when twelve Palestinian students were detained. They were accused of throwing stones at Israeli yellow-plated vehicles.

“It was really difficult and saddening to see my mother crying and begging the Israeli soldiers to free me- it’s an image I cannot erase”, said Mohammed (12, not his real name), an A-grade student of As Sawiya al Lubban Secondary School.

After two hours of interrogation and search all the students were released, except Mohammed who was placed in the military vehicle and taken near the village of Sinjel, around 10 km from the school. 

 A school in Hebron demolished by Israel on grounds of lack of building permit

“The soldiers took me out of the jeep, uncovered my eyes and brought me before a female Israeli settler. She had her mobile in her hands and was showing them photos. They started threatening me and saying that I would see my picture while throwing stones, and that I would go to jail. I was not worried at the time because I had not thrown stones,” explained Mohammed

“Regardless, they handcuffed and blindfolded me. This time, they forced me to lie down on the floor of the jeep and took me to the Israeli military base in Huwwara [Nablus]. At this point I was really frightened. All I could think about was them [the Israeli soldiers and settlers] falsely pinning a crime on me and throwing me in jail…not finishing my last year in school…not attending university,” he added.

After being detained for six hours, Mohammed was handed over to the Palestinian Police, who took him back home.

Apart from violence and arrests of Palestinian students, the education process in The West Bank was also threatened by demolitions and seizures of Palestinian Schools. In at least 48 schools in Area C and East Jerusalem, insecurity and uncertainty are exacerbated by the risk of demolition or seizure of all or part of the school by the Israeli authorities on the grounds of the lack of building permits. []

 Picture Sources: ACT, UN OCHA



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