The Israeli authorities prevented Minister of Education, Khawla Shakhshir, from entering the Gaza Strip for the beginning of the new school year, on Sunday. The school year has been delayed by almost three weeks due to the recent Israeli aggression on the coastal enclave.
The Ministry of Education revealed that Israel denied Shakshir a travel permit with which to enter Gaza, a procedure “which proves the ugliness of the Israeli occupation and its practices against the education process, in flagrant violation of all international and humanitarian conventions which affirm the right of education; a fundamental right guaranteed worldwide."
On Sunday morning, as many as 500,000 male and female students headed to school, marking the beginning of the new school year in war-battered Gaza. Classes have been delayed by week as a result of schools being used as shelters for internally displaced and homeless Palestinians who found their homes bombarded and destroyed in the recent Israeli offensive and bombardment of Gaza.
Officials from the Ministry of Education said the first week will be dedicated to entertainment activities in order to help relieve the psychological strain among students, following weeks of psychological pressure resulting from the Israeli war.
But Adnan Abu-Hasna, a media staff with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said all school districts in Gaza are beginning the school year today, with the expectation of Beit Hanoun, where hundreds of displaced families are yet to evacuate several UNRWA sheltering schools, depriving around 9,600 students from joining their schools.
He stressed they will exert all possible efforts to insure the start of school in Beit Hanoun.
The Ministry of Education called upon the relevant bodies to immediately act against the Israeli policies aimed at undermining education and propagating 'ignorance' among the Palestinian people.