Israel to auction classrooms donated by EU to Palestinian children

LONDON: Israel is set to auction off classrooms it seized from the occupied West Bank last year, according to a report in UK newspaper the Guardian citing an advertisement that ran in the Israeli newspaper Maariv.
The auction is due to be held next week and will take place in the offices of the Civil Administration, which tore down and confiscated the classrooms last October.
They had been intended for 49 students, in grades one to six, in Ibziq, in the northern occupied West Bank.
After the classrooms were dismantled, the EU mission to Jerusalem and Ramallah condemned Israeli authorities and called on them to rebuild the structures in the same place “without delay”.
The statement said at the time: “Every child has the right to access education and states have an obligation to protect, respect and fulfil this right, by ensuring that schools are inviolable safe spaces for children.
“The EU calls upon the Israeli authorities to halt demolitions and confiscations of Palestinian houses and property, in accordance with its obligations as an occupying power under international humanitarian law.”
The Civil Administration did not follow the EU mission’s advice and rebuild the classrooms and the agency saw the opportunity to sell the materials confiscated from Palestinian children. 
The Guardian said it had seen a list of the auction items, which showed dates, item numbers, locations and descriptions that matched the confiscated classroom structures. 
“The sale also appeared to include material confiscated from Palestinians and Israeli settlers who built without authorization,” the Guardian reported.
The Civil Administration, the Israeli body which governs the occupied West Bank, did not comment on the upcoming sale.
The Israeli military refuses to permit most new Palestinian construction in the 60 percent of the West Bank where it has exclusive control over planning and building, even as the military facilitates settler construction. 
According to Human Rights Watch, “the military has enforced this discriminatory system by razing thousands of Palestinian properties, including schools, creating pressure on Palestinians to leave their communities. When Israeli authorities have demolished schools, they have not taken steps to ensure that children in the area have access to schools of at least the same quality.”

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