Israel Lifts Ban on Delivery of 300,000 School Textbooks to Gaza

Ramallah, 28 Dzulqa’dah 1437/31 August 2016 (MINA) – Israel lifted on Tuesday a ban on delivery of 300,000 school textbooks intended for Gaza, according to Azzam Abu Baker, an official at the Palestinian Ministry of Education.

The school year started on Sunday in West Bank and Gaza and attempts by the Ministry of Education to deliver textbooks to Gaza were obstructed by Israel, Palestine News Agency (WAFA) reported.

Baker said in a press release that major efforts were exerted around the clock by the ministry, the civil affairs department and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) which led to Israel lifting the ban and allowing entry of the textbooks to Gaza.

The ministry said that mathematics and science textbooks were still awaiting Israeli approval, which meant that half a million students in the Gaza Strip will begin the school year without textbooks.

UNRWA trucks delivered the textbooks on Tuesday morning from the printers in the West Bank and these are expected to be distributed among schools in the evening.

Some 1.2 million Palestinian students began school on Sunday. About 650,000 of them are in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the ministry said.

Sixty-five percent of the Gaza Strip’s students are enrolled in 245 UNRWA schools, while some 55,000 students go to 95 UN schools in the West Bank. The rest attend state schools, the ministry said. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)