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Jerusalem kids face tough start to new year as Israel targets schools

Jerusalem24 – Three weeks into the school year, students in East Jerusalem and the West Bank have been experiencing both physical and academic attacks by Israeli forces and authorities. The most recent took place this morning at the Anata Girls Secondary School where students had to be treated for suffocation due to tear gas inhalation.

Five students and two teachers suffocated as a result of Israeli forces firing tear gas canisters in the vicinity of the school in Anata, in occupied East Jerusalem.

Local sources reported that the Israeli military stormed the town of Anata at the start of the school day, stationed their vehicles in the vicinity of the school, and fired tear gas canisters during the morning queue to enter the school.

This is the second such attack on a Palestinian school in occupied East Jerusalem on two consecutive school days. On Thursday, five students also suffocated as a result of tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces stormed the vicinity of Al-Issawiya Secondary School.

Jerusalemite activist and member of the Parents Committee, Mohammad Abu Al-Hummus, told WAFA news agency that Israeli forces stormed the Al-Obaid neighborhood in Al-Issawiya, stormed a house next to the school, and fired sound bombs and tear gas at the students in the schoolyard, leading to the injury of five.

Jerusalem schools fight for their curriculum

On Saturday, the Council of Parents of Faith School Students in occupied East Jerusalem held a sit-in rejecting attempts by Israeli authorities to censor the Palestinian curriculum and impose the Israeli one instead.

A comprehensive strike has been announced for all Jerusalem schools tomorrow, Monday, “rejecting all attempts to impose a false curriculum on Jerusalemite students.”

The national and Islamic forces called on all Jerusalem schools to abide by the strike, asking the school administrations to respect the parents’ consensus, and calling on them not to “violate the national position.”

During Saturday’s sit-in, participants carried banners bearing phrases rejecting the Israeli curriculum, including: “No to the distorted curriculum”; “Together to preserve the identity of our children”; “No to the Israelization of education”; and “We refuse to receive the curriculum of the Israeli Ministry of Education”.

Tariq Akash, a member of the Parents Committee, said, “Our steps are deliberate and legal, and all the towns of Jerusalem completely reject the Israeli curriculum and do not accept that their children study only the curricula they want.”

West Bank students also subjected to Israeli violations

On Wednesday, Israeli forces closed the exit gate of the Cordoba Elementary School in Al-Shuhada street in Hebron, and held the teachers and children inside for over an hour.

Israeli forces also stormed the Abdel Aziz Secondary School for Girls in the Beit Anoun area north of Hebron. Footage distributed on social media shows a Palestinian flag being confiscated by the soldiers.

Students and teachers at the Cordoba Elementary School in Hebron were made to stand in the sun for over an hour on Wednesday, 14 September 2022, before being allowed to leave. [Source: Quds News Network]

Nadeen Alshaer

Alshaer is a Palestinian journalist, a Birzeit University graduate with a B.A. in TV and Radio Broadcasting Journalism. Alshaer has 6 years of experience in journalism. She currently works as a reporter, editor and presenter/producer for PBC-Palestine TV and Jerusalem24 radio. She’s a UN and Kelley School of Business alumna.

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