Education Under Occupation: Disruptions to Palestinian Education Stemming from Israeli Military and Settler Activity, 01 September 2003 – 30 June 2005
From its onset in 1967, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip has had a negative impact on Palestinian education. Israeli military and settler activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) has resulted in killings, injuries, and arrests within the Palestinian student population, which currently comprises some 28 per cent of the Palestinian population of the OPT. Direct military attacks on and raids of Palestinian schools, or their immediate environs, has resulted in injury to students, damage to Palestinian educational facilities, and disruptions to the educational process. Measures of collective punishment, such as restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement have repeatedly hindered or made impossible, students’ and teachers’ access to schools.
These activities have intensified since the beginning of the current Intifada (Uprising) in September 2000 and continue to occur to date. During the past two academic years, the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOE) reports that incursions and curfew imposition by the Israeli army caused the loss of some 1,525 schooling days for students in government schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.1 Combined these measures have adversely affected Palestinian students’ ability to concentrate.
The quality of education received by Palestinian students will be a determining factor in the future development of Palestinian society. Israeli military and settler activity that repeatedly disrupts and causes harm to Palestinian students, teachers, and schools thus constitutes a significant attack on Palestinian society itself.
This Trend Analysis examines disruptions to education in Palestinian schools (grades 1-12) resulting from Israeli military and settler activity in the OPT, during the periods September 2003 - June 2004 and September 2004 - June 2005. It features select information indicative of trends and represents only a portion of activity during that period. It is based on data from Palestinian Monitoring Group (PMG) Daily Situation Reports, the Palestinian Ministry of Education, and PMG field work.2