The danger of closure threatens the schools of "Khalil Sakakini and Al-Quds" in the Old City of Jerusalem
January 22, 2019


The Israeli occupation municipality recently decided to close two secondary schools for males and females in the area of Herods Gate in the ​​Old City of Jerusalem, without giving reasons.

The closure decision, which reached the management of the two schools verbally, included a formal meeting with the municipality: Khalil Sakakini School for Girls and Al-Quds Secondary School for Boys.

Regarding the decision, Ziad Shamali, head of the parents' committee in Jerusalem, explained that the director of the school "Khalil Sakakini" said that the school will be closed at the beginning of the next academic year 2019/2020, while the director of Al-Quds school was informed that it will be closed during the next two years, and therefore the school should not accept any student for the seventh grade. This came during official meetings during the past days.

Shamali confirmed the verbal decision during the meeting that the municipality withdrew the names of the two schools from registration lists for the next academic year. The registration was also opened for the first time at Al-Malawiya School in the Old City to facilitate the transfer of students from Khalil Sakakini School.

Shamali explained that Khalil Sakakini and Al-Quds schools were for the grades "seventh to ninth. Nearly 300 students are enrolled in the first school while 150 students are enrolled in Al-Quds.

Shamali stressed that the general objective of the closure decision is to empty the schools in the Old City of Jerusalem and to compel parents to register their children in schools that follow the Israeli curriculum. The Municipality of the occupation and the Ministry of Education are working to open schools and classrooms for schools that teach the Israeli curriculum.

Shamali added that the locationof "Al-Quds and Khalil Sakakini" schools is sensitive and has special importance. It is within meters of Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as near a settlement outpost and Burj Al-Laqlaq, which is threatened at risk of being seized in favor of settlement projects.

He pointed out that the building of the school of Khalil Sakakini belongs to the property of the occupationmunicipality, and the building of Al-Quds school returns to the family Qaraeen and leased by the municipality since the occupation of Jerusalem.

On the other hand, the students’ families of Khalil Sakakini School demanded that the municipality stop the decision to close the school, stressing their refusal to register students in other schools - outside or inside the Old City as a legal right.

They held the Israeli Ministry of Education and the municipality full responsibility for any change or confusion in the educational process during this year and the coming years.

He added that they will take the necessary legal measures to not implement the decision to close this school.