Israeli children have no school because of building freeze

Thursday, September 03, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

A recent report on Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) television showed how hundreds of Jewish children living in Samaria (the so-called "West Bank") have had to start the school year in bomb shelters and inadequate temporary structures because of the settlement building freeze resulting from pressure by US President Barack Obama.

In one of the community's highlighted in the report, construction on a new school building was scheduled to begin months ago. But because of pressure from Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak never signed off on the building plans.

So today, the 500 children who attend the Yakir School that serves several settlements in Samaria, are holding classes in hot and cramped caravans or in stuffy local bomb shelters.

Obama's Middle East peace policy has thus far centered on Israel halting even the natural growth of Jewish towns in areas claimed by the Palestinians, including on the eastern side of Jerusalem. Netanyahu has fallen in line with those demands by refusing to approve any new building plans since taking office in March.

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