Israeli Army Raids School in Bethlehem, Threatens of Shut Down

BETHLEHEM, November 11, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli army forces Wednesday raided a boys’ secondary school in the town of Taqou’ to the east of Bethlehem, and threatened to shut down the school if students continue to throw stones at Israeli soldiers.

Head of Taqou village council, Taysir Abu Mfreh, informed WAFA that an Israeli military force raided the school, locked the principle inside, and threatened him to close down the school if stone throwing by students continues.

Meanwhile, the principle, Majed al-Sha’er, said a group of undercover Israeli units; dressed as Palestinians, were seen setting up an ambush for the students along the main Road in Bethlehem and inside nearby agricultural land.

Earlier Wednesday, Israeli police detained a 14-year-old student from inside a junior high school in the East Jerusalem Neighborhood of Ras al-Amoud and handed the school’s principle a summon ordering him to appear for interrogation, under the pretext that the school students attacked soldiers with stones.

Israeli army previously carried out numerous attacks, with the deliberate and reckless use of force, against schools and educational facilities across the West Bank, in a serious violation of international law and students’ right to pursue education in a safe environment.

The Global Coalition to protect Education from Attack said, “During situations of armed conflict, attacks on education may violate international humanitarian and criminal law and constitute war crimes as set out in the 1907 Hague Regulations, the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and customary international humanitarian law.”

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund UNICEF said, “International law and human rights instruments are clear, not only about the sanctity of education but also the protection of children affected by conflict.”

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child applies to all children without discrimination (article 2). It reaffirms the right of every child to life (article 6), insists on the protection of all children from all forms of violence (article 19) and makes clear the right to education (article 28),” states UNICEF.

During the July aggression on Gaza, Israel bombarded several UNRWA-run schools, which Human Rights Watch, along with worldwide condemnation, slammed as “a war crime.”