Israeli occupation has installed guardrail on Israeli highway, isolating Palestinian Bedouin community, preventing around 100 children from schools.
A report issued by the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah) said that the Israeli occupation effectively sealed off Umm Bidoun, a Palestinian Bedouin community in Al-Naqab, by blocking off the only dirt road connecting the village to Highway 31 with a guardrail.
The road surface markings on the highway near other passage out of Umm Bidoun have also recently been changed, making it illegal for vehicles to cross the road, Adalah added.
Recent changes have effectively prevented any vehicles, including school buses, from accessing the village, Adalah said.
As a result, the legal NGO stated that, due to the absence of schools in Umm Bidoun, 100 children who study in the village of Al-Furaa, 15 kilometres away, have been unable to go to school for days.
The NGO said on Sunday it had contacted officials from the Israeli education ministry, Al-Qasoum regional council and Netivei Israel, the national roads authority, to demand that the obstacles to freedom of movement for the residents of Umm Bidoun be lifted.
Adalah field researcher Marwan Abu Freih said that Netivei had told the organisation that it was examining the issue.
“It is inconceivable that some 100 students can — in such a sudden and arbitrary manner — be prevented from attending school without any advance notice to or consultation with parents,” Abu Freih said on Sunday.
He continued: “Adalah and the families demanded that the Israeli education ministry act immediately to correct this situation.
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Between 160,000 and 170,000 Bedouins are believed to reside in Al-Naqab, more than half of whom reside in unrecognised villages, according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).
The classification of their villages as “unrecognised” prevents Bedouins from developing or expanding their communities, while Israeli authorities have also refused to connect unrecognised Bedouin villages to the national water and electricity grids, and have excluded the communities from access to health and educational services.