Israel Confiscates Tent used as Classroom by Bedouin Community

A file photo of Palestinian children sitting on the area which used to be their make-shift school. (Photo: via OccPalGaza, file)

Israeli forces reportedly confiscated a tent used as a classroom in the Bedouin community of Abu Nuwwar on Tuesday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told Ma’an on Thursday.

OCHA Communications and Information Analyst, Ofir Feuerstein, told Ma’an that “Israeli authorities confiscated a tent in Abu Nuwwar” part of the contentious “E1 corridor” located just east of Jerusalem municipal boundaries.

“According to OCHA’s information, the tent was placed following a demolition of a classroom and a concrete ground that took place on September, 27,” he added.

A spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in Palestinian territory, told Ma’an that the tent was “confiscated due to its illegal location and absence of required permits, one week after enforcement measures were carried out against the illegal structure at that location.”

The spokesperson added that the Israeli Civil Administration had “developed the foundation of the land for hundreds of families from the Jahalin [Bedouin] tribe that are settling illegally in the area of Maale Adumim,” adding that the relocation plan would provide lands, housing, water, electricty, and draining systems to the Bedouin, while “maintaining the population’s way of life.”

“Today, the plan is prepared for families to reside in this location, but unfortunately, the Bedouin population refuses to reach an agreement in order to resolve this issue and continues building illegal structures in the area,” the spokesperson added.

In contradiction to these statements, rights groups and Bedouin community members themselves have sharply criticized Israel’s relocation plans for the Bedouin residing near the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, claiming that the removal would displace indigenous Palestinians for the sake of expanding Israeli settlements across the occupied West Bank in violation of international law.

Israeli authorities demolished the classroom in September, which had been used to serve 15 third-graders, and also leveled the school’s yard.

The school was a movable structure made of wood and tin sheets donated by the European Commission.

(MA’AN, PC)

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