Campaign to save a West Bank school from demolition

01 September 2011

Since August we have been highlighting the plight of the school in the Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar near Jerusalem, which is threatened by demolition.

Hundreds of our Facebook and Twitter followers have already written to show support for the school and voiced their opposition to the devastating practice of demolition.

While this has been important in raising the children and community’s morale, the threat of demolition remains. Sadly Khan al Ahmar is not a unique case. We want Israel to end its practice of demolishing schools, homes and infrastructure in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. Join us and support the demand of tens of thousands of Palestinians: “Don’t demolish my future!”

Khan al Ahmar

Alarming developments in the West Bank community of Khan al Ahmar. Settlers from Kfar Adumim have filed a petition against the school, asking for an injunction not to re-open the school this September and pushing for the school to be swiftly demolished.

Though the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the request to close the school, the petition has set the clock ticking for the demolition of the school. Such a demolition would effectively deny the children of the community their education and jeopardise their future.

More on the situation in Khan al Ahmar

How you can help:

Join our campaign

1) Raise awareness

On Facebook:
We are asking all our friends to donate their Facebook status.

Please share the photo of six-year-old Nawal whose school is under threat and copy and paste the following as your status:

"Don’t demolish my future!
Israel: Stop demolishing Palestinian schools."


Six-year-old Nawal Ead is about to start first grade. "After the Eid I‘m going to school," she told us excitedly.



On Twitter:
Copy the photo and tweet the following:
"Don’t demolish my future! Israel: Stop demolishing Palestinian schools #stopdemolitions #UNRWA"

2) Send a message of support

If you want to show your support for the children and community please write a short message on our Facebook wall. We will print your messages of support and put them up on the walls for the start of the new school year on 5 September.

To stay updated join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The UNRWA school in Al-Shrafieyeh, Jordan has announced that it will officially twin with the school at Khan al Ahmar.

Students at al-Ashrafieyeh school will write short messages appealing to stop the demolition.
They will write short messages of support with the children of Khan al Ahmar.
Some will draw paintings.
Others will post Facebook messages for the children of Khan al Ahmar.

If your school wants to twin with Khan al Ahmar, contact UNRWA with a Facebook message and join the campaign.

3) Stay informed about the bigger picture

This campaign is about more than just one school. We want Israel to stop the demolitions of schools, homes and infrastructure in the West Bank including East Jerusalem.

The Israeli practice of demolition, which has increased sharply in the first half of 2011, continues to devastate Palestinian families and communities in Area C – the 60 per cent of the West Bank controlled by Israel. Many of the people affected already live in poverty. Children are often hit hardest.

Nemir is 11 years old and is in the 5th grade. At school he loves Arabic but he has trouble with maths and English. He loves cars and would like to be a mechanic and fix cars when he is older.

The vast majority of demolition orders are issued because a home or structure has been built without an Israeli permit. However, the Israeli planning system, condemned as discriminatory by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, makes it almost impossible for Palestinians to get a permit.

The UN estimates that there are more than 3,000 demolition orders outstanding in Area C alone, including 18 issued to schools.

Find out more on our demolition watch section (updated monthly).

More demolitions in the news.

The OCHA report “Displacement and insecurity in Area C of the West Bank” (PDF) has detailed analysis of the current situation.

4) Support our demand that Israel meet its obligations under international law

  • Immediately cease demolitions of Palestinian-owned homes, schools and infrastructure, which cause displacement and dispossession, until Palestinians have access to a fair and nondiscriminatory planning system. This should include community participation in all levels of the planning process.
  •  Families that have been forcibly displaced must be allowed to return to their homes in safety and dignity, and be given compensation for any harm they have suffered, including the destruction of land, homes and property.