EU ‘appalled’ by IDF razing of Palestinian school, demands compensation

In a move opposed by international voices, Israel has demolished a Palestinian elementary school in the West Bank.

IDF bulldozer (photo credit: REUTERS)
IDF bulldozer
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The European Union slammed the IDF for razing an illegal West Bank modular Palestinian school it funded, demanding compensation.

“Appalled by the demolition of the EU-funded school in Ein Samiya in the Occupied West Bank,” the EU’s Representative Office in Jerusalem tweeted on Friday. The EU calls “on Israel to respect Palestinian children’s right to education and to compensate [the] EU for the funding lost,” it stated.

France separately said it was “dismayed” by the move and called on Israel to respect international law.

The office of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also said it opposed the demolition of the elementary school, which its spokesman Stephane Dujarric said occurred on Wednesday just before classes were set to open for a new academic year.

“The school served pupils from the few Palestinian families remaining in the herding community of Ein Samiya, following the displacement of most of the community amid settler violence and diminishing grazing land,” Dujarric said. “We and our partners are currently assessing the urgent needs of 60 herding communities facing similar challenges,” he added.

 UN SECRETARY-GENERAL Antonio Guterres.  (credit: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters)
UN SECRETARY-GENERAL Antonio Guterres. (credit: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters)

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said the IDF has demolished three schools across the West Bank in the past 12 months, impacting 78 students.

The Ein Samiya school, which was located outside of Ramallah, was first built at the start of 2022. A number of Israeli courts had rejected appeals against the school’s demolition.

Israel rejects vast majority of Area C Palestinian building permits

The Civil Administration rejects 90-95% of Palestinian requests for building permits in Area C, according to IDF testimony presented to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in July.

Area C is under IDF military and civilian control, including Palestinian construction. According to the UN, the IDF has demolished at least 422 Palestinian structures in Area C this year.