Last week, the Palestinian Authority put up a new school building in the Jordan Valley, in the heart of the sprawling Bedouin hinterland near Al Auja. Even a cursory look at aerial photos of the area makes it clear: The school’s location was carefully chosen as the connecting link between the Bedouin outposts scattered throughout the area, which now form an all new illegal settlement bloc – in Area C (the portion of Judea and Samaria under full Israeli jurisdiction).

The structure is one more case of the Palestinian Authority’s proven method: Dozens of workers arrived at the site in the evening and worked through the night – and by morning, dozens of children were already sitting at their desks. The bold sign at the entrance announces that the school is run by the Ministry of Education of the State of Palestine.

“The newest illegal school in the Jordan Valley was built at lightning speed, and it was already up and running by the time we spotted it,” says Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim. “It joins a network of similar structures, among them the new schools in Kisan and Kochav HaShachar that were built in the past month, and more than 50 other illegal schools that have been built this way over the past decade. The method is the same each time: Build quickly, and at the same time as the building welcomes its first pupils, petition the High Court of Justice to block law enforcement action at the site. In every case, the courts have issued temporary orders that freeze the situation on the ground and bar the authorities from either shuttering or demolishing the structure. The problem isn’t that the Civil Administration is unable to enforce the law; the problem is that the Civil Administration has adopted a policy of enabling the construction of these schools.”

“Ministry of Education – State of Palestine”

Aerial photo of the site- 1 week ago
Aerial photo – 23 September 2020
The new school near Al Auja, Jordan Valley
24 hours after breaking ground, pupils arrive

All photo credits: Eitan Melet, Regavim.

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Regavim
Regavim is a public Israeli NGO dedicated to the protection of Israel's land resources and the preservation of Israeli sovereignty.
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