Samra Popular School threatened with demolition
The Israeli occupation forces have once again attacked the right of Palestinian children to education, by threatening to demolish Samra school. Military jeeps entered the small community of Samra in the northern Jordan Valley at 9am on 21st October 2014 and issued a demolition order on the community-built school.
Jordan Valley Solidarity has been working with this small farming community to build a local school since early 2012. We started with a tent school, that was used for creative education projects with the children. However, the Jordan Valley is very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter, so it is difficult for the children to concentrate and learn much of the time.
We therefore built a school of mud bricks that could be used for the children of Samra, Al Hadidiya, Mak-hul, Humsa and Ein al Hilwa. These are farming communities which have been subject to repeated harassment and attack from Israeli settlers and the occupation forces. The Palestinian families in all these communities are forced to live in makeshift shelters and tents, and are repeatedly subjected to the destruction of their homes, or are evacuated so the occupation forces can carry out military training exercises on their land. They have no electricity and currently have no running water.
Samra is at the head of a beautiful valley, but surrounded by occupation military forces, with one military base on the hill above them, and another at the entrance to the village, so they are under constant and repressive surveillance.
It is also surrounded by four illegal Israeli settlements: Ro’i, Beqa’ot, Maskiyyot and Hamdat. It is located on land designated as Area C under the Oslo accords, which leaves them with no rights, and under total control of the occupation forces.
Jordan Valley Solidarity has recently met with the Palestinian Authority to request teaching staff for the school, but to date this has not been agreed.
Popular community school
The community has therefore decided to run the school as a ‘Popular School’, where the local children can receive a basic education, but also where they can develop their creative talents, particularly in the area of drama.
We need your support to encourage the existence of Palestinian people in this village, and the people who live in the other four villages who will also benefit from the school.
Jordan Valley Solidarity is going to take legal action to save the school. Israel is breaking international law and does not care for the right to education.
- Sign our petition at http://www.change.org/p/bejamin-netanyahu-stop-the-demolition-of-samra-school#
- Write to your elected representatives: ask your government’s Foreign Office/Department to make representations on behalf of the people of Samra
- Contact any oganisations you are a member of (for example, Amnesty International, Trade Union, church groups) and ask them to speak up for the right of the children of the northern Jordan Valley
- Write to the Israeli Embassy in your country and call for the right to education of Palestinian children to be protected, and for the demolition order on Samra School to be cancelled
We can make a difference
In 2007 Jordan Valley Solidarity started a project with the people of Fasayil al Fouqa to build a community school. In October that year the occupation forces issued a ‘stop work’ order, in which they threatened to demolish the school if the building work continued. We challenged the order in court, and organised an international campaign and petition with Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity. On that occasion we succeeded, and today the school is thriving with 10 classrooms and over 100 school students attending daily.