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TAKE ACTION: Enhance Palestinian Schoolchildren’s Access to Education


Palestinian schoolchildren’s access to education is greatly restricted due to the following human rights violations that are a direct results of Israel’s military occupation of Palestine:

  • Attacks: The UN Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) noted that in 2015 there were 156 attacks on education in Palestine, which directly affected 19,276 students. These attacks were committed by the Israeli military and Israeli settlers, and included: acts of vandalism, acts of harassment and/or physical violence towards Palestinian students on their commutes to and from school; military raids on schools; usage of schools as interrogation and/or detention centers; and firing of teargas, stun-grenades, rubber bullets and live ammunition in and around school premises.
  • Demolitions: Palestinians are largely prohibited by the Israeli Civil Administration [ICA] to build structures in Area C of the West Bank [62% of the WB] and East Jerusalem. Thus, to cope with population growth, communities are forced to build houses and schools without Israeli-issued permits. The ICA, a branch of the Israeli Military renders these structures illegal and frequently demolishes them.
  • Closures: Everyday, students throughout the West Bank must pass through military checkpoints to get to school. Some of these checkpoints are static in location, while others are randomly setup in front of schools. At these checkpoints Israeli soldiers search students’ belongings and often harass them. Many of these children must also cross dangerous settler bypass roads, walk through military zones, and even firing zones to make it to school. In 2015, 140 incidents of denial of access, to education were documented in Palestine affecting more than 14,916 students.

The problems noted above have resulted in a reduction in time for learning; poorer academic achievements; a lack of attendance; and increased dropout rates. It is also reported that parents are increasingly pulling their children out of school due to the dangers that they face during their commutes. Girls are disproportionally affected, as they are more likely to stop attending school when faced with harassment or physical abuse. Yet, harassment, violence and arrests largely affect boys.


The right to education is protected under Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Economic, Social And Cultural Rights (1966), the Convention on the Elimination Of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women (1979), and the Convention On The Rights of The Child (1989). Teachers and students should be guaranteed free access to educational institutions, regardless of their ethnic and religious background.


We encourage you to:

  • Share this page with your networks.
  • Inform your representative in parliament & media agencies about the implications of Israel’s military occupation of Palestine on Palestinian schoolchildren’s right to education.
  • Contact officials and call on them to demand that Palestinian schoolchildren have immediate, unhindered access to education.

Who should you contact? These officials.
What should you write? You can use our sample letter or draft your own.

More about Access to Education | Officials to Contact | Sample Letter