Israeli military’s demolition of West Bank schools may be an ‘international crime’: HRW

Washington The Israeli army’s demolition of Palestinian schools in the occupied West Bank could amount to an “international crime,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned on Wednesday.

Israel has repeatedly denied Palestinians permits to build schools in the West Bank and demolished schools built without permits, making it more difficult or impossible for thousands of children to get an education, said HRW’s statement.

“The Israeli military refuses to permit most new Palestinian construction in the 60 percent of the West Bank where it has exclusive control over planning and building, even as the military facilitates settler construction,” the non-governmental human rights organization added in the statement.

It went on to say: “The military has enforced this discriminatory system by razing thousands of Palestinian properties, including schools, creating pressure on Palestinians to leave their communities. When Israeli authorities have demolished schools, they have not taken steps to ensure that children in the area have access to schools of at least the same quality.”

Israeli authorities have been getting away for years with demolishing primary schools and preschools in Palestinian communities, said Bill Van Esveld, senior children’s rights researcher at HRW. The Israeli military’s refusal to issue building permits and then knocking down schools without permits is discriminatory and violates children’s right to education, he added.

Israeli officials should be on notice that razing dozens of Palestinian schools not only can block children from getting an education, but may be an international crime, Van Esveld said. As part of their efforts to support Palestinian schools, other countries should demand that those destroying schools should be held to account.

HRW has found that Israeli military authorities have demolished or confiscated Palestinian school buildings or property in the West Bank at least 16 times since 2010, with 12 incidents since 2016, repeatedly targeting some schools. It pointed out that since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office on 31 March 2009, Israeli forces have demolished 5,351 Palestinian buildings in the West Bank for lack of building permits, including East Jerusalem, displacing 7,988 people, including more than 4,100 children, based on UN data.

HRW’s statement synchronized with what may be the final hearing of Israel’s High Court of Justice on the military’s plans to demolish a primary school in Khan al-Ahmar Ab al-Hilu, a Palestinian community of East Jerusalem. This school, which serves 160 children, is one of the 44 Palestinian schools at risk of full or partial demolition because Israeli authorities say they were built illegally.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

Israeli military’s demolition of West Bank schools may be an ‘international crime’: HRW

Washington The Israeli army’s demolition of Palestinian schools in the occupied West Bank could amount to an “international crime,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned on Wednesday.

Israel has repeatedly denied Palestinians permits to build schools in the West Bank and demolished schools built without permits, making it more difficult or impossible for thousands of children to get an education, said HRW’s statement.

“The Israeli military refuses to permit most new Palestinian construction in the 60 percent of the West Bank where it has exclusive control over planning and building, even as the military facilitates settler construction,” the non-governmental human rights organization added in the statement.

It went on to say: “The military has enforced this discriminatory system by razing thousands of Palestinian properties, including schools, creating pressure on Palestinians to leave their communities. When Israeli authorities have demolished schools, they have not taken steps to ensure that children in the area have access to schools of at least the same quality.”

Israeli authorities have been getting away for years with demolishing primary schools and preschools in Palestinian communities, said Bill Van Esveld, senior children’s rights researcher at HRW. The Israeli military’s refusal to issue building permits and then knocking down schools without permits is discriminatory and violates children’s right to education, he added.

Israeli officials should be on notice that razing dozens of Palestinian schools not only can block children from getting an education, but may be an international crime, Van Esveld said. As part of their efforts to support Palestinian schools, other countries should demand that those destroying schools should be held to account.

HRW has found that Israeli military authorities have demolished or confiscated Palestinian school buildings or property in the West Bank at least 16 times since 2010, with 12 incidents since 2016, repeatedly targeting some schools. It pointed out that since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office on 31 March 2009, Israeli forces have demolished 5,351 Palestinian buildings in the West Bank for lack of building permits, including East Jerusalem, displacing 7,988 people, including more than 4,100 children, based on UN data.

HRW’s statement synchronized with what may be the final hearing of Israel’s High Court of Justice on the military’s plans to demolish a primary school in Khan al-Ahmar Ab al-Hilu, a Palestinian community of East Jerusalem. This school, which serves 160 children, is one of the 44 Palestinian schools at risk of full or partial demolition because Israeli authorities say they were built illegally.

Source: International Islamic News Agency