The Mission of the State of Palestine observed the first annual International Day to Protect Education from Attack on 9th September this year. The day was established by a unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly, to raise awareness of the plight of millions of children living in countries affected by conflict.
Since its occupation of Palestine, Israeli policies have had a detrimental effect on the wellbeing of thousands of Palestinian children over the years. In proclaiming the International Day to Protect Education from Attack to be observed for the first time in 2020, the UN is sending a clear message regarding the importance of safeguarding schools as places of protection and safety for students and educators and the need to keep education at the top of the public agenda.
Between January 2018 and March 2019, the Palestinian Ministry of Education recorded the following violations:
The rights of children should be protected by Israel as the occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention – instead, Israeli policies are responsible for the ongoing traumatisation of schoolchildren and attacks on their persons, homes and school environments. The international community must fulfil its obligations and take steps to protect the civilian population of Palestine, including and especially children. Measures should be taken to hold the perpetrators of these crimes to account, otherwise, the culture of impunity will grow.
“Children everywhere have a right to learn in a safe and secure environment, free from fear, anxiety and danger” – UNICEF