The Arab Campaign for Education for All and the Arab civil society community
demand an urgent international intervention to protect students, teachers, and civilians in Gaza
The Arab Campaign for Education for All (ACEA) calls on the international community – especially the High Contracting States Parties that signed the Fourth Geneva Convention (GCIV) in 1949 for the protection of civilians in war zones – to stand up to their legal and moral obligation and provide immediate international protection to the Palestinian citizens under attack in the Palestinian occupied territories. We call on governments to take urgent actions and put pressure on Israel to end the violence against Gaza to protect lives and prevent further losses. In addition, we call on the international community to put an end to the Israeli government intimidation and grave violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties and public infrastructure, and to ensure that Israel respects the humanitarian international law principals. ACEA also demands the international community and the relevant institutions of the United Nations to take the action urgently required to halt the mass forcible transfers of citizens of Gaza and AL-Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem.
ACEA also calls on the United Nations organizations and the international institutions to clearly, explicitly and without hesitation, condemn the Israeli aggression and discrimination against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, including the mass forcible transfers of Palestinians and the illegal confiscation and destruction of Palestinian land and property, especially in Jerusalem.
ACEA considers the disregard of the international community to hold the Israeli occupation accountable for its violations in the occupied Palestinian territories an encouraging factor to commit further violations of the international humanitarian law. The Israeli violent aggression on Gaza Strip has caused great losses in lives and properties through the direct targeting of civilians as well as civilian buildings and facilities, including education infrastructure, which is a direct exercise of the policy of collective punishment exercised by Israel against the Palestinian population, that is condemned by the United Nations. Moreover, these violations constitute means to tighten the control over the Palestinian people living in the territories occupied in 1967.
Since 10 May 2021, ACEA has been following daily the escalation of the continuous Israeli aggression against Palestinian civilians especially children, women and civil infrastructure including educational ones. ACEA resources report that 230 people have lost their lives as a result of the attacks, including 65 children and 39 women in addition to 1710 injured people, 51 educational facilities have been damaged including 45 public and private schools, one UNRWA vocational training center and one school, two kindergartens, the Ministry of Education facilities in the north and one university since the start of the Israeli bombing. These attacks have denied almost 591,685 children of which 51% are girls in Gaza the right to education. Moreover, more than 58 UNRWA schools in Gaza have been utilized as emergency shelters for more than 74 thousand IDP’s Palestinian citizens whose houses got destroyed or are escaping the explosions.
The ACEA and the Arab Civil Society community that have signed this appeal demand from the international community the following immediate actions:
- Stating clear positions, statements and declarations that condemn the Israeli attacks on civilians including children, women and old people as well as ending the bombing of civil infrastructure especially the educational facilities and schools.
- Putting pressure on the International Criminal Court to investigate the ongoing war crimes against civilians and children in Gaza committed by the Israeli occupation and hold the occupation leaders – who gave orders to commit them and those who carried them out – accountable. Moreover, the International humanitarian organizations should provide the citizens who were forced to leave their homes with essential needs such as food, medical needs, medicines, and others.
- Call on the Israeli occupation to halt the crimes in Al-Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and Al-Aqsa Mosque, take immediate prompt actions and interventions to halt the forcible transfers of the Palestinian families in the neighborhood and show some respect and adherence to the international law principles.
- Raising immediate funding to help Palestinians addressing the effects of aggression on lives and infrastructure as well as to address the grave impact on the health and education sectors caused by the random bombardment.
- Reconsidering the nature of programs set to help Palestinians, and the need to focus on the essential services sectors such as physical and community infrastructure along with the social and emotional support for groups most at risk from ongoing attacks by the occupation forces.
- Launching regional and international advocacy campaigns that endorse the Palestinian right based on the international legitimacy and the right of peoples to self-determination and to defend their right to resist occupation in all its forms.
- Creating effective and expeditious mechanisms to protect education in crisis and conflicts as well as ensuring the Palestinian children rights to education under all circumstances.
Moreover, to criminalize any attacks by the occupation authorities in this context.
By The Arab Campaign for Education for All and the Arab civil society community : 21-05-2021.