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EU missions express 'strong concern' over Israeli demolition of school

Dec. 20, 2018 11:13 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 4, 2019 11:25 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The European Union missions in the central occupied West Bank districts of Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed, on Thursday, "strong concern" regarding the dismantling of a Palestinian school, serving 40 Palestinian schoolchildren in the al-Simiya village in the southern West Bank district of Hebron by the Israeli authorities on December 5th.

The al-Tahaddi 13 school, serving 40 students from the first to the sixth grade, is located in Area C.

The EU missions said, in a statement, that this is the fifth demolition or confiscation of school and kindergarten structures which the Israeli authorities have carried out in the West Bank in 2018.

According to the EU statement, a total of 50 schools, in Area C and East Jerusalem, have received demolition or stop work orders by Israel "creating a coercive environment affecting more than 5,000 school children."

"Every child has the right to access education and States have an obligation to protect, respect and fulfil this right, by ensuring that schools are inviolable safe spaces for children."

The statement added "In line with its long-standing position on this issue, the EU calls upon the Israeli authorities to halt demolitions and confiscations of Palestinian houses and property, in accordance with its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law, and to cease the policies of settlement construction and expansion, of designating land for exclusive Israeli use and of denying Palestinian development, all of which threaten the two-state solution."

The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah also called upon the Israeli authorities to rebuild the school structures in the same place without delay.
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