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School construction programme halted due to tightening of Gaza siege

Palestinian construction workers pouring cementThe Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Gaza has announced the suspension of its school construction programme. Work on 39 new schools has been stopped due to the tightening of the siege caused by Egypt's steps to close the Rafah border crossing and destroy many of the tunnels which are Gaza's lifeline.

"The suspension of the new school programme has a negative impact on children's education," the ministry said in a statement, "not least because the new schools are necessary to ease overcrowding." Building materials such as cement, steel, paint and tools have been blocked by the Egyptian government's moves since the overthrow of President Morsi last week.

Fourteen schools are currently under construction and have been affected by the decision: three in the North Gaza governorate, two in the middle area, two in Rafah, three to the west of Gaza, three in Khan Younus and one in eastern Gaza. The other 25 are in the planning stage but the process has been halted until the necessary materials are available for building work to be start.


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