oPt

Save the Children strongly condemns assault on school students

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17 November 2021 – Save the Children strongly condemns the assaults by Israeli security forces on Palestinian children walking to and from school in the occupied West Bank yesterday evening and this morning. It is estimated that approximately 70 students between ages of 13 and 18 years old, were injured, including inhalation injuries and other minor injuries, south of Nablus last night as Israeli forces fired teargas at them as they left their school, leaving them struggling to breathe.

This morning, students walking to the same school were injured again by teargas and rubber-coated bullets. This included one female student sustaining fractures to her shoulder. The school was supported by Save the Children in the past.

Jason Lee, Country Director for Save the Children in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), said:

“Save the Children is horrified by reports that dozens of Palestinian students – some as young as 13 years old – were injured by tear gas and rubber bullets by Israeli security forces this morning. All they were doing was going to school.

“Unacceptably, this is a regular occurrence for many students. Palestinian children have told us before that the dangers they face as they travel to and from school are denying them their right to an education. Children have also told us that these repeated incidents leave them feeling scared, anxious and stressed, with some experiencing with physical and emotional symptoms including uncontrollable shaking, fainting, loss of self-confidence, and despair.

“The October 2021 Education Cluster briefing note ‘attacks on education on the rise as children go back to school in the West Bank’ sets out how incidents affecting children’s education have been increasing since schools reopened this year. No child should be made to compromise their safety and wellbeing for their learning. Yet these are calculations that students, parents and teachers are having to make on a daily basis in the West Bank.

“Education is a fundamental human right and protecting access to schools must be a priority of all duty bearers in the oPt. Save the Children calls on the Government of Israel to take concrete and immediate steps to ensure that Palestinian children have safe access to a quality education, in line with their obligations under international law.”

Notes to editors

Al Lubban -Al Issaweyeh high school was supported by Save the Children under the project of ‘Schools of Peace’ funded by Norway and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Save the Children’s support to the school included minor rehabilitation, the provision of MHPSS and first aid and emergency training to school staff.

For further enquiries please contact:

Emily Wight, Emily.Wight@savethechildren.org;

Out-of-hours (BST), media@savethechildren.org.uk / +44 (0)7831 650 409