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Israeli forces storm Palestinian elementary school in West Bank, search for CCTV recordings

In this file picture, Israeli soldiers are seen during a protest outside the occupied West Bank village of Tubas, near the Jordan Valley. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli forces have broken into a primary school in the central part of the occupied West Bank, searching for the video footage recorded by surveillance cameras installed at the educational facility.

Local sources told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa on Monday that Israeli troops barged their way into the school in the village of Yabrud, located approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles) northeast of Ramallah, calling on officials to provide them with the recorded video.

The school officials, however, refused to let Israeli forces view the footage.

Back on November 23, Israeli military forces raided the Masafer Yatta region of the southern occupied West Bank, and demolished recently-built Asafat primary school in the village of Asafat al-Fawqa.

Footage taken by Israeli activist Itai Feitelson before the demolition showed teachers helping young Palestinian students out of a classroom window, while Israeli forces were standing outside.

Dozens of Israeli soldiers then cordoned off the area around the school, and a bulldozer flattened it shortly afterwards.

Wafa reported that Israeli forces confiscated the school’s stationery, tables and chairs before flattening the building.

The Palestinian Ministry of Education slammed the demolition as “a heinous crime,” adding, “These practices have become a flagrant violation of students' right to safe and free education.”

The ministry said that dozens of Palestinian students in Masafer Yatta now had no school to attend.

The European Union also strongly condemned the Israeli demolition, saying the move violated children’s right to education.

“The EU recalls that demolitions are illegal under international law, and children’s right to education must be respected,” Peter Stano, a spokesman for the bloc, said in a statement.

He added that the “unacceptable development comes while 1,200 Palestinians in Masafer Yatta remain at risk of forced transfer following the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision in May and against the backdrop of an increasingly coercive and intimidating environment for Palestinian locals, including movement restrictions imposed on them, teachers and humanitarian responders.”

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