North Jordan Valley sit-in highlights education dilemma under occupation 27Feb11 February 28, 2011

The Palestinian Information Centre -  27 February 2011

Palestinian activists sat in at the Ain al-Halwa school in the northern Jordan Valley on Saturday with hopes to raise awareness on the Israeli occupation which has rendered meeting the educational needs of Area C impossible.

The ”save the Jordan Valley” campaign, one of the sit-in organizers, said Israeli policies have hampered the building of schools, and military checkpoints have restricted movement of teachers and students.

Israeli authorities have pursued a policy of destruction of private and public facilities including schools, said Wahba Usfour, a sit-in coordinator, citing as an example what happened in Khirbet Tana, a village east of the city of Nablus with a population of about 300.

In October 2010, Israel leveled there 30 structures including a school, houses and animal stables. Of the 40 students frequenting the local school before the demolition, only 17 had continued to hold studies in a small tent.

Usfour said a similar situation has appeared in the Bedouin community of Ain al-Halwa in the northern Jordan Valley, where children frequenting the nearby Tayasir village school have been forced to cross a military checkpoint daily to attend class and subjected to harassment by soldiers.

Soldiers at times force students out of the buses and walk 13 km by foot to go back to their homes.

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