Saturday, 9 August 2014

Another casualty of Israeli war: Palestinian right to education

By Al-Shabaka
Al-Shabaka is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and foster public debate on Palestinian human rights and self-determination within the framework of international law.

This policy brief is authored by Aimee Shalan and Samer Abdelnour. Aimee Shalan is the director of the Friends of Birzeit University, a UK-based charity that supports the right to education and its role in the wider development of Palestinian society, and Samer Abdelnour is an assistant professor at the Rotterdam School of Management.

All eyes are on the terrible toll of dead and injured and the extensive destruction -- as well as the dire humanitarian situation of the population under siege in Gaza.

But less attention is being paid to the longer-term damage caused by the current Israeli crackdown throughout the occupied Palestinian Territory that is having far-reaching and detrimental consequences for the development of Palestinian society as a whole.

Israeli attacks on Palestinian universities and other educational institutions are a case in point. They have greatly increased since the military crackdown began in June. The already scant and biased Western media coverage of this crackdown, however, has meant that these attacks, which have also targeted students and faculty, have gone largely unreported with little effort to hold Israel accountable for its violations of Palestinians' right to education.

The Palestinian Education Ministry condemned Israel's repeated bombing of educational institutions after 10 schools sustained damage during air raids on Gaza in June. Weeks later, the United Nations reported 90 schools damaged and in need of repairs due to the bombardment. A technical college was also one of the many civilian institutions targeted in Gaza by the Israeli military, despite international appeals for a cease-fire. more


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