Urgent Call for Action: Save Khashem Al-Karem School at Imminent Risk of Demolition

  • Date: 2023-01-19

Urgent Call for Action: Save Khashem Al-Karem School at Imminent Risk of Demolition

19 January 2023


The Israeli occupying authorities are ramping up its demolition campaign against Palestinian structures including Palestinian schools. As of September 2022, there are around 22,000 demolition orders that have been given to Palestinian structures. There are 58 schools (50 in Area C, and 8 in East Jerusalem) serving around 6,550 students and 700 teachers, are currently at risk of demolition by Israeli occupying authorities. Increasing changes in Israeli discriminatory planning policies in the form of Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) planning ordinances, military orders, and legislative bills passed since 2018 point to an intensification of restrictions[1]. This continues to cause increasing challenges for humanitarian and development actors in fulfilling humanitarian needs and reaching sustainable development goals in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) especially in the West Bank.

On 18th of January 2023, The Israeli High Court (IHC) dismissed the petition submitted by the Society of Saint Yves that aimed to prevent the demolition of Khashem al-Karem school, in Hebron. It is important to note that on the 23rd of November 2022 Isfey Al-Fauqa School in Masafer Yatta, another donor-funded school was demolished. Not only that the (Ioa) didn’t stop with the demolition but also came back on the 6th of December 2022 and confiscated a tent and small water tank and portable bathroom denying Palestinian children in Isfey Al-Fauqa their right to education.

Currently there are 47 children attending Khashem al-Karem school (34 children in primary school and 13 little ones in kindergarten). Destruction of the school of Khashem al Karem will be a flagrant breach of international law.

Palestinian children’s right to safe and quality education continues to be threatened when schools, students, or teachers are under attack. Under international Human Rights Law, every child has the right to education and states have an obligation to protect, respect and fulfill this right. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recognizes education as a legal right to every child based on equal opportunity. Education is a fundamental human right that is crucial for the development of children’s skills and knowledge, and for their future prospects, as well as enabling the understanding and fulfilment of other rights. Protecting access to schools must be a priority for all duty bearers in the oPt, and all efforts must be made to address all impediments to safe access to schools.  

With 9 remaining days until the school can actually be demolished: Urgent diplomatic intervention is required, at a level commensurate with the gravity of the violation:

  • Stop the demolition of the threatened school of Khashem al-Karem and to guarantee Palestinians right to education.
  • Increase advocacy efforts and issue public statements for an immediate end to school demolitions and protection of Palestinian children rights.
  • Support children by all means possible, provide international presence at the schools at risk of demolition.
  • Address the root causes of the issue and affirm the Palestinian rights to self-determination, right to education, right to health etc.  



[1] Between 2016 and 2021, there were 2,550 requests for building permits submitted by Palestinians to ICA but only 24 were granted, less than 1%.