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Israel approves decision to demolish school in Masafer Yatta

January 19, 2023 at 2:26 pm

Members of Palestinian Masafer Yatta communities rebuild their home territory which has been destroyed by Israeli occupation forces [Mamoun Wazwaz /Anadolu Agency]

An Israeli court has approved a decision by Israeli authorities to demolish a school in Al-Ain Al-Baida in Masafer Yatta, based south of Hebron in the Occupied West Bank, reported Wafa news agency.

Head of the Masafer Yatta Village Council, Nidal Younis, told Wafa that an Israeli court revoked a previous injunction issued against the demolition of the school and gave the Israeli Occupation army 10 days to destroy it.

He noted that the school was built last year with funding from the European Union, which 50 students from local Bedouin communities attend.

On 4 May 2022, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled that there were no legal barriers to the planned expulsion of Palestinian residents from Masafer Yatta to make way for military training.

The UN OCHA said then that this ruling “effectively placed the residents at imminent risk of forced evictions, arbitrary displacement and forcible transfer.”

According to the UN OCHA, in the 1980s, the Israeli Occupation designated part of Masafer Yatta as ‘Firing Zone 918’ and declared it a closed military zone.

Since this declaration, indigenous Palestinian residents have been at risk of forced eviction, demolition and forcible transfer. The two villages of Khirbet Sarura and Kharoubeh no longer exist after their homes were demolished.

“Approximately 20 per cent of the West Bank has been designated as ‘Firing Zones’, affecting over 5,000 Palestinians from 38 communities,” the UN OCHA said.

It added: “Currently, Masafer Yatta is home to 215 Palestinian households, including about 1,150 people, of which 569 are children.”

In an effort to force Palestinians out of the area, the Israeli Occupation has deprived residents of access to basic amenities, including drainage and permission to construct to meet the needs of the growing population.

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