Nov 24, 2022 09:10 UTC
  • Israeli forces demolish recently-built Palestinian elementary school in southern West Bank

Israeli military forces have demolished a recently-built Palestinian primary school in the Masafer Yatta region of the southern occupied West Bank, where residents are facing the ongoing threat of eviction from their homes and forced displacement in one of the single biggest expulsion decisions since the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories began in 1967.

Witnesses and local officials said Israeli army raided the area on Wednesday morning and demolished Asafat, a boys' and girls' school, in the village of Asafat al-Fawqa.

Footage taken by Israeli activist Itai Feitelson before the demolition shows teachers helping young Palestinian students out of a classroom window, while Israeli forces are standing outside.

Dozens of Israeli soldiers then cordoned off the area around the school, and a bulldozer flattened it shortly afterwards.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Israeli forces confiscated the school's stationery, tables and chairs before flattening the building.

A picture published afterwards by Israeli rights group B'Tselem showed a pile of debris, where the school once stood on a hill.

The Asafat school used to serve the Palestinian residents of the communities of Asafat al-Fawqa, Asafat al-Tahta, Maghayer al-Ubaid and Tuba. 

According to the Norwegian Refugee Council, the so-called Israeli High Court of Justice revoked on Wednesday an interim injunction freezing a demolition order against the school.

The Palestinian Ministry of Education stated the demolition was “a heinous crime.”