A school in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, nearby the Israeli settlement of Kfar Adumim in the occupied West Bank, is to be demolished and moved to another location, the state informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday, September 14. Responding to a petition by residents of Jewish settlements close to the school, the state maintained that “the Defense Ministry was looking for an area to which to move the school.”
The school was built in 2009 with the assistance of an Italian NGO, Vento di Terra, using ecological methods including construction out of used tires. There are currently more than 100 pupils at the school, which has become a symbol for the West Bank’s Bedouin community. Diplomats frequently visit the school to express support for the Palestinian struggle against occupation.
Residents of the nearby Israeli settlements petitioned the Supreme Court a number of times demanding that the school be demolished. In response, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar claimed through their attorney, Shlomo Lecker, that they were unable to obtain a permit to build the school because of the state’s discriminatory policies. Following the state’s announcement to the court, Eid Hamis Jahalin, a local resident, told Haaretz that “it’s all because of [the Israeli settlement] Kfar Adumim,” adding: “The school isn’t bothering anyone. This is happening because the settlers want all the Bedouin entirely out of the area; that’s their decision. So now they will start with the school and, after that, there will be a demolition order against all the Bedouin.”