Israeli military demolishes school in occupied West Bank, rights group claims

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A rights group has claimed that a school in the occupied West Bank has been demolished by the Israeli army.

Footage distributed by Israeli rights group B’Tselem shows a bulldozer tearing down a one-story structure as soldiers stand nearby. The group said that the school children were still inside the classrooms as the soldiers arrived before the demolition.

Earlier this year a court upheld a long-standing eviction order against eight Palestinian settlements in the Masafar Yatta area, paving the way for the potential displacement of at least 1,000 people.

Rights groups have accused Israel ever since of the gradual demolition of structures in the area, with the school being torn down.

In the early 1980s, the army declared Masafar Yatta as a firing and training area. Israeli officials have argued that the residents only use the area for seasonal agriculture and that there were no permanent structures there at the time.

According to rights groups, in November 1999, security forces expelled about 700 villagers and destroyed homes. The legal battle began the next year.

In its ruling in May, the Supreme Court sided with the state, saying the villagers had rejected the agreement that would have allowed them to enter the area at certain times and practice agriculture for part of the year.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

with agencies

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