August 22 was to be the first day in a new school for Palestinian children who had previously had to walk a long distance to their old school, itself an overcrowded one in a converted car garage. But the night before opening day, as part of its ongoing US-supported efforts to make life hell for the Palestinians it rules over in its apartheid state, Israeli forces destroyed the children’s school so that when the children turned up, there was nothing there.
Israeli military jeeps came barreling down towards Jubbet al-Dhib’s first and only primary school late Tuesday night, terrifying locals who had been finishing preparations for the school’s grand opening set for the next morning. Soldiers shot tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets as they cleared the way for bulldozers and flatbed trucks brought in to take the school.
The school, located between four Palestinian villages on the outskirts of Bethlehem, was built with caravans on a concrete foundation by local authorities and international NGOs partnered with the European Union, hoping to mitigate the myriad of challenges facing students in the area.
Israeli soldiers quickly cleared the area with crowd control weapons, and within an hour of the soldier’s arrival the caravans had been loaded up and taken away along with the tables, desks, construction equipment and everything else other than the concrete foundation, bathrooms and tiny chairs brought for the seven-to-nine-year-olds that were expected to attend their first day of school the next morning.
The sheer cruelty of the Israeli policies is appalling. Watch this video of what happened.