In a letter to the Israeli embassy in Brussels, Education International (EI) expressed concern regarding the decision of the Public Security Minister of Israel to close the office of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education in Jerusalem for six months. EI laments the rising violence and warns that the rights of thousands of Palestinian children and youth, including the right to education, are not being respected, with terrible long-term consequences for the region.
On 20 November, the world marked the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which unequivocally states that education is a fundamental right of each and every child. On the very same day, the Jerusalem office of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education was searched by Israeli authorities and the Public Security Minister of Israel issued an order to close the office for six months.
In a letter addressed to the Israeli Ambassador to Belgium, EI condemned the temporary closure and drew attention to the imperative to respect the right to education of all Palestinian children and young people.
David Edwards, EI General Secretary, stated: “It is our duty as teachers, as educators to stand up for our students and call out violations of their rights. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been going on for over 70 years. Children and young people today are born into a conflict they had no part in creating, yet they are the ones deprived of their rights, including their right to education. We call for the Israeli government to reverse this decision that undermines the right to education of Palestinian children.”
Access to quality education is key to achieving peace in the region and giving new generations a fair chance at the bright future they deserve. Robbing them of this chance, of their right to education, is condemning the region to a never-ending conflict with a massive negative impact on lives in both Israel and Palestine.
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