Wednesday 22 November 2017 
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Israel seizes mobile classrooms in Palestinian village the day before school

Days after residents in an isolated village in Beit Lahm ('Bethlehem') received stop-work orders for mobile homes being set up as a school -- structures for which locals insisted they had obtained the necessary permits -- Israeli forces reportedly raided the village Tuesday and seized the classrooms.

 

Days after residents in an isolated village in Beit Lahm ('Bethlehem') received stop-work orders for mobile homes being set up as a school -- structures for which locals insisted they had obtained the necessary permits -- Israeli forces reportedly raided the village Tuesday and seized the classrooms.

 

The raid into Jubbet al-Dib came a day before the first day of the school year, leaving some 64 students from the 1st to 4th grade without school to attend on Wednesday, Palestinian Authority-owned Wafa news agency reported.

 

Wafa quoted local activist Hasan Breijieh as saying that Israeli forces hauled the mobile classrooms on trucks and took them away under the pretext they were established without Israeli permission.

 

Locals reportedly attempted to block the confiscation of the classrooms, which Breijieh reiterated were licensed. Israeli troopers fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at the residents to disperse them, without causing any injury, according to Wafa.

 

Sami Marwa, director of the education department in Beit Lahm, told the news agency that the school was set up to serve several small communities in the area, and had enrolled 64 students.

 

He said teachers and staff had been preparing for the first day of school since Sunday. The school consisted of eight mobile homes, Brejiyeh told Ma’an when the stop-work orders were delivered, when Israeli forces also confiscated vehicles donated by an Italian NGO.

 

After the classrooms were hauled away, the Palestinian Ministry of Education started seeking an alternative school for the children to attend, Wafa said.




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