European Union officials are calling on Israel to rebuild two classrooms demolished at an EU-funded school in the West Bank Sunday due to a bureaucratic mix-up.
The EU's representative offices in Jerusalem and the West Bank issued a statement Tuesday expressing "strong concern" about the demolition of the classrooms, built at a Palestinian school near Jerusalem.
The school served 26 elementary school students from the Bedouin village of Abu Nuwar near the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. The children were moved to a nearby guesthouse and barbershop to continue classes.
"Every child has the right to access to education and states have an obligation to protect, respect and fulfill this right, by ensuring that schools are inviolable safe spaces for children," the statement said.
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The Civil Administration in the West Bank had ruled that the classrooms were built illegally without permits. However, the High Court of Justice ordered the Civil Administration last year to postpone the demolition until the legal status of the classrooms could be examined more thoroughly and all other administrative appeals had been exhausted.
On Friday, residents of Abu Nuwar filed an appeal with the Civil Administration, extending the legal process, but due to miscommunication, the Civil Administration staff said they were unaware of the appeal. The classrooms were demolished two days later.
In its statement Tuesday, EU officials urged Israel to halt such demolitions, adding that permits are nearly impossible to obtain.