PA Minister of Education meets with representatives of donor countries, claims Israel is committing “violations against education,” and that there is a “policy of Israelization and Judaization in Jerusalem”
Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida - Sept. 27, 2018

 

Headline: “The [PA] Ministry of Education discussed increasing the support for the education sector with the donors and its international partners”

“The [PA] Ministry of Education and Higher Education… held the regular meeting yesterday [Sept. 26, 2018] with the donors and international partners, in order to increase the cooperation and help the education sector.
Participating in the meeting were [PA] Minister of Education and Higher Education Sabri Saidam… Ambassador of Finland to the State of Palestine Anna-Kaisa Heikkinen, Director of the UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) office in Palestine Lodovico Folin Calabi, representatives of other donor states, and international and national partners…
Regarding the violations against education, Saidam said: ‘We are continuing our efforts to curb the occupation’s attack and its targeting of schools and educational institutions. We have increased the presence of the ministry’s teams in Khan Al-Ahmar (i.e., a site where Palestinian Bedouins illegally erected dwellings and a school; see note below –Ed.), and we are struggling against the policy of Israelization and Judaization in Jerusalem, as the occupation’s attack against the education in the city is continuing, and the occupation is declaring this explicitly. Therefore we have declared this year as “the year of education in Jerusalem,” in order to defend the holy city and the education sector in it’…
Saidam sent two messages, the first to the donors, in which he emphasized that education is Palestine’s future… and the second to the education community: ‘Continue recording achievements despite the obstacles that the occupation is placing, and continue to work with team spirit.’
The ambassador of Finland said: ‘We are working together with the [PA] Ministry [of Education] in order to protect the children’s right to education, particularly in the Gaza Strip and the regions that have been marginalized. We are encouraging unity between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in a manner that will serve the education sector and humanitarian issues.’ She added that the students in Khan Al-Ahmar are continuing to study in conditions of fear and tension, and emphasized the position of Finland which opposes the destruction of the Khan and the harming of education and its institutions, which are protected by international law. She also said: ‘Despite all the obstacles that the Palestinian education is dealing with, it is proving its ability to continue, for education is the backbone of every society and a central factor in its development’…
Heikkinen emphasized that her country is continuing to support the Palestinian education sector through the Ministry of Education…
[Director of the UNESCO office in Palestine] Calabi said: ‘It is an honor for me to participate with you in this important group, which is outlining policy and achieving productive results in everything connected to education. Despite the obstacles and challenges, the Palestinian education sector is recording many achievements.’ He praised the steps of development that the ministry has taken, and added: ‘We are meeting today as the situation of the education and the teachers is being tested in the village of Khan Al-Ahmar, which together with its only school is in danger of destruction by Israel at any moment. We oppose any violation against education.’”

Khan Al-Ahmar is a site where Palestinian Bedouins have illegally erected dwellings and a school, mostly simple shacks, on land in Area C (i.e., land under full Israeli administration according to the Oslo Accords). The Israeli authorities have ordered the demolition of these structures and offered alternative sites for them. A number of petitions to the Israeli Supreme Court against the demolition orders have been considered and then rejected by the court. As of Sept. 27, 2018, the illegally constructed buildings have not been demolished. During July 2018, Palestinians have held protests at the site against the demolition, some of which have turned violent.