The European Union and the Palestinian Authority inaugurated today Al O'qban Elementary Mixed School and kindergarten located in Area C near Bethlehem. The total area of the building is 1,200 square meters and it will serve more than 250 Palestinian children from the nearby communities.
The European Union provided €750,000 for the construction and furnishing of the school and the kindergarten. This building will provide safe space for the girls and boys of Al O'qban and nearby communities to access primary education, from kindergarten to ninth grade.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by the Minister of Education, the Minister of Local Government, the European Union Acting Representative, and the Director of the Municipal Lending and Development Fund, and representatives of Bethlehem governorate, Janata town, and nearby villages.
"Education is a basic human right and a crucial component for building healthy societies. A child’s right to primary school education is non-negotiable, regardless of the child’s family residency, economic, cultural or social background. We are proud to inaugurate today the largest EU-funded school in Area C. This is a clear message about our commitment towards Palestinian children particularly in Area C where Palestinians are facing real and daily challenges in accessing their basic human rights. The EU considers Area C crucial for realizing the two-state solution and calls for a fundamental change in Israeli policies there in line with international law and for allowing Palestinian socio-economic development'', said the Acting EU Representative Tomas Niklasson.
This newly inaugurated school and kindergarten is part of the EU and Member States support to developmental interventions in Area C. All EU activity in the West Bank is fully in line with international humanitarian law. The EU provides humanitarian assistance to communities in need in Area C in accordance with the humanitarian imperative. The EU also works with the Palestinian Authority to develop Area C and support Palestinian communities. This includes projects promoting economic development and improving the quality of life of Palestinian communities in the areas of private sector development, environment and agriculture.