TUFP launches pilot project with Palestinian schools

The Trade Union Friends of Palestine (TUFP) is a network of trade unions, including the INTO, which aims to coordinate trade union advocacy and activism to promote the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) policy and to show solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Within this network, some Irish education unions, representing all levels of education personnel, formed a sub-group to focus on solidarity activities with Palestinian teachers, students and education unions. This development was a direct outcome of the successful 2019 TUFP Palestinian Children’s Conference.

Arising from this work, a pilot project has been established twinning three Irish primary schools with three Palestinian schools.

This twinning project has highlighted the need to raise the issue of the demolition of Palestinian schools with impunity by Israeli authorities in the Occupied Territories, and TUFP calls on members to:

  •   Consider joining the twinning project in 2022/23.
  •   Support the INTO call for action by exploring how your school could become an Apartheid Free Zone (AFZ), committing to refraining from any kind of support or assistance to the Israeli regime.
  •   Ask your city or county council to pass a motion in solidarity, denouncing what is happening to Palestinian schools.

INTO recently wrote to the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, urging the Irish Government and anyone with influence to intervene immediately to protect the rights of the pupils of The Al Masafer School, situated south of Hebron, to an education and to attend school safely.

The letter stated:

INTO is shocked at the news that Al Masafer Secondary School, which is located in Al Fakheit in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron city, in Palestine is under threat of demolition by the Israeli authorities.

In recent weeks, a twinning partnership arrangement has begun between a primary school in north inner-city Dublin, St Mary’s Primary School, and Al Masafer School which has approx. 100 students from 1st Grade to 12th Grade and 14 teachers. This partnership is intended to afford the pupils in both schools the opportunity to learn about and with each other… We are extremely disappointed to learn that the Israeli Supreme Court refused the petition of the school against its demolition. Al Masafer is the only secondary school in the area, and this demolition threat comes after a neighbouring primary school was demolished by the Israeli authorities.”

For more information, please contact TUFP Education: tufpeducation@gmail.com