Israel wants to demolish five Palestinian schools in the Jordan Valley

Kids outside the school in Al-Maleh Jordan Valley
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Palestinian campaign group Stop The Wall (STW) has said five Palestinian schools in the Jordan Valley are under threat “from imminent Israeli demolition”. STW told The Canary:

Israel has been denying Palestinians in the [Jordan] valley their human right to education as a measure to ethnically cleanse them and annex the area

It says local campaigners are currently defending these schools from demolition and fighting:

back against Israeli illegal settlement expansion and ethnic cleansing.

Denying Palestinians the right to education

The Jordan Valley is in Area C of the West Bank, which is effectively under complete Israeli control. STW says Israel is using that control to deny the local Palestinian Bedouin communities a right to education. It does so by demolishing existing schools and stopping the building of new schools and kindergartens.

It believes:

Israel weaponizes the denial of education to Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley as a coercive measure to ethnically cleanse them from their lands.

Read on...

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And it claims:

As of 2019, the Israeli occupation has given over 42 schools in Area ‘C’ orders to be partially or totally demolished. The following schools which particularly serve Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley are among the threatened schools by demolition.

Al-Maleh school

One of the five schools under threat is the Al-Maleh school. It was built at the end of 2020 with four classrooms. In September 2021, STW and the Middle East Children’s Alliance started adding another classroom. On 13 September, Israeli soldiers issued a demolition notice. A campaigner told The Canary:

the demolition was supposed to take place at any moment especially if the construction continued… we refused to stop the construction… so, once the construction was finished, Israeli soldiers raided the school and confiscated the property belonging to it on [October] 25.

STW added:

at 5 PM Israeli occupation soldiers raided the school in Khirbet Al-Maleh and confiscated a classroom… and an awning from the grounds of the Al-Maleh school. Khirbet Al-Maleh is a small Palestinian community in the northern Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank.

STW says the remaining classrooms in Al-Maleh and four other schools in nearby Bedouin communities are all facing destruction. A campaigner named Darraghmah explained:

This school is tremendously important for the existence and the steadfastness of the residents here.

Israel’s “violent history of destroying schools”

According to STW:

The Israeli occupation has a long and violent history of destroying schools and kindergartens serving Palestinian Bedouin communities throughout the Jordan Valley. These include the kindergarten in Khirbet Makhoul (2013), the school in Khirbet Samra (2012), and the school in Ras Al-Tin (2020).

And:

As of 2019, the Israeli occupation had given more than 42 schools in Area C orders to be partially or totally demolished.

It believes Israel is trying to displace them to annex that region. As a result of these school demolitions, Palestinian children have to walk long distances to get to school. Campaigners claim this journey leaves them at the mercy of Israeli army and Israeli-settler violence.

In September this year, The Canary reported that Israeli forces fired tear gas into a Palestinian school in the Jordan Valley following a military training exercise. And it appears as if Israeli military training near schools in the Jordan Valley can put residents and students at risk:

And that’s in addition to reported attacks from Israeli-settlers:

The crime of apartheid

STW says Israel’s system of oppression amounts to apartheid. In particular it cites Article II (c) of the international convention on apartheid:

the term ‘the crime of apartheid’… shall apply to the following. …

Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to education [emphasis added]

Call to action

So, STW is calling on people to get involved to stop these demolitions and protect Palestinians’ right to an education. It wants people working in education to:

  1. Raise awareness about Israeli abuse of Palestinian right to education in the Jordan Valley by sharing this report and other future updates we release about education in the area.
  2. Write to your government urging it to pressure the Israeli government to halt the planned demolition of schools in the Jordan Valley.
  3. Endorse the BDS Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions on Israel to dismantle Israeli apartheid regime.

Featured image with permission of Stop The Wall

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Get involved

  • Take action to support Al-Maleh school and other Palestinian the schools in the Jordan Valley.

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  • Show Comments
    1. And what will dullard Starmer have to say? He who claims Israel stands for equality, peace, democracy, human rights and the rule of law? Not a word. Since the 1940s when Foot and Crossman made the dreadful mistake of supporting the creation of a Jewish State, when Bevan threatened to resign over Attlee’s opposition to it, Labour has sided with an irrational regime founded on messianic entitlement and racism. Tony Benn fell into the same trap and wrote enthusiastic articles in support of a Jewish State. But Bevin and Attlee were right. Bevin wrote “The fundamental difficulty over Palestine was that Jews refused to admit the Arabs were their equals.” Much earlier, in 1897, the Berlin correspondent of the London Standard wrote this after the first Zionist conference: “The idea of founding a modern Jewish State, which goes by the name of Zionism, finds little favour in Germany, except among the Anti-Semites…In short, the degeneration which calls itself Anti-Semitism has begotten the degeneration which adorns itself with the name of Zionism.” There is a long and disreputable history of Zionist anti-Semitism. Something the Israeli lobby works hard to conceal. Labour has supported the degeneration for decades. It had the chance to free itself and chose to call its potential liberator a racist. In 1922, even the right-wing Daily Express had the insight to see where the folly of a Jewish State would lead: “It is Dr Weizmann, considered the most powerful of the religious followers, who is inducing us now to remain in Palestine…up to the day when we are up to our necks in catastrophe which will no longer be in our power to rectify..” Chaim Weizmann had a great influence over Crossman. Weizmann believed that all Gentiles are anti-Semites, and Crossman accepted the argument. Stop for a second and consider this: there are 15 million Jews in the world out of 7.5 billion people. According to Weizmann, everyone of those who is not a Jew is a racist. This is the absurdity of the Israeli lobby position, of the B o D, LFI, the CST, the ADL and the rest: we are all racists by definition. If we say we aren’t we merely confirm we are. Labour has fallen in with this madness, and madness it truly is. Starmer praises Israel’s leaders, including Golda Meir who said “Israel is not defined by a line on a map; wherever there are Jews that is Israel.” There are 3,000 Jews in China out of 1.4 billion people. Is China Israel? There are 5,000 Jews in Africa. Is Africa Israel? In the name of this tosh the Palestinians are abused, denied freedom, and murdered. There is no “conflict” between Israel and Palestine. There is colonial oppression, occupation and murder. The Palestinians have no army. They deserve one. In 1946 a plan was advanced for the creation of a single State in Palestine to be governed democratically under proportional representation. It was rejected by the Zionists who insisted on a Jewish State in the whole of historic Palestine.This is what they still want. They have no intention of supporting two-States. Labour knows this. Starmer is lying when he speaks of two States. He knows. Never forget thst during the Mandate the Zionists attacked the British at every turn and declared that we were a greater enemy than the Nazis. Einstein’s fear has come to pass: the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews. Labour is complicit with fascism. Hence the fascism now installed at the heart of Labour.

      1. Yup! 1885 the first Zionist Flag was raised at the beginnings of Tel Aviv, with the word Maccabees in the centre, used by the Zionist Federation.
        The Eternal Victim Syndrome, Netantwatu called the Palestinians “The Spoilt Children of the International Community, but I reckon it is The Zionists, ALL Zionists including the so called “Left Wing” Zionists included, who are the Spoilt Brats of the International Community, but they play with Toys Loaded with Nuke Warheads and have Toybox After Toybox filled with Killing Machines from Uncle Sam!
        They’ve started bombing Yemen now, I have a feeling the Spoilt Brats want to occupy and plunder that Yemeni Island, to do their Piracy from, also their little friend UAE has only gone and played with Syria and planned talks with Iran so now the Spoilt brat needs to play VERY NICELY with Jordan and especially with Cousin Saud!
        Feels like there is a silver lining, momentarily mind.

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