BEIRUT—The protracted Israeli occupation, blockades and continuing conflict have severely compromised access to education to Palestinians, whether they have Israeli citizenship or are refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
That was the message of speakers at a recent webinar organized by the Centre for Education and International Development at the UCL Institute of Education, University College of London.
The webinar, titled “Palestine Under Attack: The Assault on Palestinian Education,” held on May 26, highlighted the impact on education of the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, which killed at least 219 people, including 63 children and 36 women, damaged 50 schools across the besieged strip and forced the displacement of more than 40,000 people who sought shelter in schools. (See a related article, “Palestine’s Education Institutions Are Victims of Conflict Again.”)
Speakers said the right to education for Palestinians is constantly undermined by Israel’s “apartheid colonial” education policies, attacks on educational establishments, confiscation and censorship of educational materials, segregation, and control over curricula for Palestinians inside Israel and in the occupied territories.
Haidar Eid, an associate professor of postcolonial and postmodern literature at Gaza’s Al-Aqsa University, said Israel has systematically targeted civilian areas in Gaza and reduced whole neighborhoods and vital civilian infrastructure to rubble.