As a coalition of 37 European trade unions from 9 European countries, including those representing teachers and other education staff, we are shocked and dismayed to hear of the imminent demolition of yet another school in the West Bank.
We understand that on 6 March, the Israeli Central Court rejected a petition filed by Palestinians against the demolition of the school Jubbet ad Dib. The Court gave the Civil Administration a period of 60 days to demolish the school.
Jubbet ad Dib is just one of many examples of Palestinian schools and infrastructure being demolished or being under the threat of demolition (e.g Ein Samiya school, east of Ramallah, Masafer Yatta and others).
Israeli occupation forces regularly violently harass Palestinian students and teachers, block them from reaching school, stop classes for hours, and confiscate teachers’ cars. The occupation authorities escalate their onslaught on Palestinian schools in Area C as it is paving the way to ethnically cleanse it from Palestinians for settlement expansion. Destroying schools, arresting students, threatening teachers is part of Israel’s effort to expel Palestinians from their lands. Everyone deserves to be safe at school!
Until now Israel has not suffered any consequences for its overt violations of international law and human rights.
The Geneva Conventions are clear; as the occupying power, Israel has an obligation to protect the people under occupation. Despite this, Palestinians have been the victims of Israeli state violence for decades. There is no protection whatsoever for Palestinian lives or livelihoods. It is beyond time to end this impunity and hold Israel to account.
We appeal to European governments and the EU to:
- take swift action to prevent the demolition of Jubbet ad Dib, along with other planned demolitions of schools and Palestinian structures in the West Bank;
- demand and execute from Israel compensations for ongoing demolitions of Palestinian schools and structures;
- use all tools, including sanctions and ban of trade with illegal settlements to pressure Israel to stop these demolitions;
As European trade unions, including education unions whose members dedicate their professional lives to children and young people’s education, this is a situation that we are profoundly concerned about, that we understand to be completely beyond the law, and that we call upon the EU and European countries to bring to an immediate end.