By Amjad al-Nabhan
RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – A Palestinian official has called for holding Israel accountable for demolishing a Palestinian school near occupied East Jerusalem.
“It is high time for the international community to hold Israel accountable for its actions,” Saeb Erekat, secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s executive committee, said in a statement on Monday.
On Sunday, Israeli forces razed two classes inside the school in the Abu al-Nawwar Bedouin community, which is hemmed in on all sides by Israel's Maale Adumim, Kedar and New Kedar settlements.
Israeli authorities say that the two classes recently added to the school were built without a permit.
“The demolition is part of Israeli violations of international law, which aims to prevent the Palestinian dream of freedom and life,” Erekat said.
In early 2016, Israeli military bulldozers had demolished the school, which was originally funded by the French government.
Local residents, however, quickly rebuilt it as tin classrooms, with no electricity, no labs nor computers, and no playgrounds.
At least 45 schools in the Palestinian territories are facing the threat of destruction by Israel, according to the United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Sunday.
For years, the Israeli government has tried to dismantle the Abu al-Nawwar community -- which consists of some 700 people who work mainly as shepherds -- to make way for its massive E1 settlement project in East Jerusalem.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.
The holy city dominated world attention after U.S. President Donald Trump on Dec. 6 recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, increasing the tension across the region.