The two sisters, Lilas and Rimas Bisharat, end their school year with peace of mind with about 200 students in the village of “Frosh Beit Dajan” in the central Palestinian Jordan Valley, after the victory of the only school in the village over Israeli notifications to demolish new classes added to it, so that hope lives to complete their educational stages here.
About 3 years ago, the occupation wanted to destroy this hope when it notified the school to stop the new construction and demolish it and cut the way for students to complete their upper classes there, and it remained so until the Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights was able to extract a decision to stop and cancel the demolition on May 26. Read also Al-Sawiya..a Palestinian school defying the occupation Al-Tahadi Schools..a glimmer of hope for Bedouin children in the West Bank The waters of the Palestinian Jordan Valley and the battle for survival The Palestinian Jordan Valley..48 years of marginalization
The two girls do not want to meet the same fate that faced their father, Mahmoud Bisharat, when a young boy was forced to move between several primary and secondary schools and endured the suffering of walking and between the military occupation checkpoints and settlements outside his village.
Father Bisharat sees the necessary need of his daughters for each class added to the village school, especially that they are among the most talented. He tells Al Jazeera Net, that the demolition would have led to them and other students being deprived of completing their education, especially females.
The scene of the demolition is not absent from Mahmoud Basharat’s family and the families in the communities surrounding the village of Frosch Beit Dajan. During the past two decades, the occupation demolished his home 6 times, and during 2019 and 2020, he notified him to demolish all his facilities, including trees and stones, and added, “They threatened me with arrest and a financial fine if I missed the trial.” .
The Furush Beit Dajan School was built with two classrooms in the 1950s to serve students up to the sixth grade. In 1985, it obtained an Israeli license to expand and increase its classrooms. With external funding, it expanded by adding 4 classrooms 3 years ago, to meet the needs of the residents of the village and its surroundings, so that the occupation hastened and notified it to stop, cancel and demolish construction.
The matter did not stop at the notification of the demolition, but the occupation army confiscated the equipment used in the construction and held it for more than a month, which prompted the village council in Furush Beit Dajan to request legal support to stop the demolition decision.
According to the Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, which took over the task of defending the school, the occupation treats Furush Beit Dajan as unrecognized villages, even though they are located in Area C, i.e. under its control and responsibility according to the Oslo Accords. However, it has not approved the expansion of its master plan since 2011, which has put all the village’s buildings at risk of demolition.
Al-Quds Center lawyer Suleiman Shaheen, who represented the villagers, says that he reached a written agreement to withdraw the petition submitted by him in return for canceling the decision to demolish the new classrooms in the school.
In a press statement to Al-Jazeera Net, the lawyer added that the center was able to protect more than 20 Palestinian schools and kindergartens built in Area C over the past ten years.
The Furush Beit Dajan School is located between 3 settlements, an Israeli army camp and a checkpoint belonging to it. The area also witnesses military training for the occupation forces throughout the year, which threatens the lives of the students, in addition to the fact that the only way for students to and from their school is taken by settlers and military occupation mechanisms.
Not long ago, one of the settlers ran over a student and actually killed her, according to the school director, Tawfiq Al-Haj Muhammad, which prompted them to work hard to provide a special bus for the students, and they also sought to complete the construction and provide new classrooms and educational rooms.
Al-Hajj Muhammad told Al-Jazeera Net that the new building greatly served the school, especially as it contained classrooms for high school students, who had to travel outside the village to complete their education before, in addition to a laboratory and resource room for students with learning difficulties.
Although he welcomed the court’s decision to stop and cancel the demolition, Hajj Muhammad sees it as incomplete as it restricts construction and prevents any addition to the school in the future, and stresses that they need every expansion that increases the education of students in remote areas and prevents their dropping out.
The school, which employs 22 male and female teachers, serves 160 male and female students, and Bedouin students residing with their families in the areas surrounding Furush Beit Dajan constitute more than 60% of them.
At a time when the occupation authorities notified more than 20 schools of demolition in areas classified as “C” in 2019 and 2020 only, the Palestinian Ministry of Education initiated the establishment of what it called “challenge schools” to support education in remote and Bedouin areas in particular. But the Palestinians rebuilt it.
And because it was licensed with official documents (Tabu), the school established the village of Frosch Beit Dajan and prevented it from being completely displaced. It established the presence of 1,200 people, according to Hajj Muhammad, after they were able to establish infrastructure services such as water, electricity and roads.
The Israeli notification to demolish the school highlighted the occupation’s violations against the village, especially the confiscation of the citizens’ water by digging 3 deep artesian wells and pumping their water to its settlements surrounding the city of Jericho, tens of kilometers to the east, in addition to confiscating 11,000 dunams out of 14,000, which is the majority of the village’s lands. .