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Forty-four schools at risk with Israel's Palestinian village demolition Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Forty-four schools at risk with Israel's Palestinian village demolition

Khan al-Ahmar is located east of Jerusalem near several major Israeli settlements [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 July, 2018

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More than 170 children in the West Bank could see their schools demolished as Israeli troops bulldoze the Bedouin village.

More than 170 children in the West Bank will see their school demolished imminently, warned Save the Children on Wednesday, after Israeli bulldozers began to demolish their Bedouin village.

In a statement, the rights group called for immediate commitments to protect schools and access to learning for thousands of children across the occupied West Bank, saying that forty-four schools are at risk of demolitions.

Earlier in the day, footage showed Israeli soldiers beat and drag a local woman as she attempted to stop them from razing the village of Khan al-Ahmar.

On Tuesday, the UN urged Israeli authorities against the forced eviction of the some 181 people living in the settlement, slamming the move as "discriminatory" and incompatible with international law.

Israeli authorities claim the village and its school were built illegally and in May, the supreme court rejected a final appeal against its demolition.

But activists say the villagers had little alternative but to build without Israeli construction permits as the documents are near impossible for Palestinians to obtain for that part of the occupied West Bank.

Jennifer Moorehead, Save the Children's Country Director in the occupied Palestinian territory, warned the demolitions could have a grave psychological impact on children.

"The impact these demolitions have on the wellbeing of children, and their ability to learn and feel safe, cannot be understated and must not be accepted," Moorehead said.

"This community has already suffered so much and their only hope now is to see the highest level political intervention from the international community."

Students are also facing emotional pressure.

"All my siblings went to this school and all the community helped build the school, so we had many memories here. This demolition will ruin our future," Nabil, a 15-year old attending the al-Khan al-Ahmar school said.

"School will be far away because we will be living on the mountain, and we will have to walk really far to get there. There is no one there, no friends, nobody and it will be hard on us," Nabil said.

Al-Khan al-Ahmar is located east of Jerusalem near several major Israeli settlement blocs and close to a highway leading to the Dead Sea.

Activists are alarmed that continued Israeli settlement construction in the area could effectively divide the West Bank in two.

In another Bedouin village in the same region, Abu Nuwar, Israel carried out a series of demolitions on Wednesday despite international outcry.

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