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Palestinian children denied education

UN school in Gaza unable to host classes, serves as a refugee shelter
UN school in Gaza unable to host classes, serves as a refugee shelter

In San Francisco, we are starting our second week of school. The always epic “first week” for us teachers is over and we are on to the next one. We have had an intense introduction to 22 to 30-something new young people who will capture a great deal of our attention for the next 175 days.

As I sit preparing for my second week back at school, I read about the first day of school for almost 500,000 Palestinian children. They have no classes to go to. The schools are full of families, their families, whose homes have been destroyed by the Israeli barrage that continues to this day. Their week began with a singing of the national anthem and tributes to those who have died but no preparation for the school year and no hope to continue their education for now.

Seventeen-year-old Wujud Zayeda was quoted as saying, “This year it’s different. One of my friends was injured in a strike near her home. I’m really upset, we just want to learn.”

This—like the four children killed playing on the beach last month—is yet another reminder of the reality of the all-out war Israel, with the full support of the United States government, is waging on the Palestinian people. That massacre has killed 478 children and more than 2,100 people in total. The Israeli government is denying an indigenous people water, electricity, food, education and healthcare as it destroying entire structures and bombing relentlessly. How can that be considered anything but genocidal?

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