Al Jazeera Net correspondents
South Lebanon- The tense security situation continues to cast a shadow over the educational situation in Ain al-Hilweh camp In the Sidon region, which is considered the capital of the Palestinian diaspora in Lebanon.
Despite the beginning of the new school year, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) was unableUNRWA) is able to open its eight schools in the camp, which were damaged as a result of recent armed clashes.
This situation prompted the agency to temporarily transfer its students, numbering about 600, to its schools adjacent to the camp and in the heart of the city of Sidon, where they receive education on a double-shift basis, which raised a kind of political and popular objection due to the hardship of transportation and the financial burdens.
Schools were damaged as a result of armed clashes Between the Palestinian National Liberation Movement “Fatah” and the “Muslim Youth Gathering”, against the backdrop of the assassination of the commander of the Palestinian National Security Forces in the Sidon region, Major General Abu Ashraf Al-Armushi, and his companions, at the end of last July.
With the escalation of the Israeli occupation's aggression against… Gaza strip after operation”Al-Aqsa flood“, she initiated Fatah movement To reduce tension, remove barriers and barriers from the streets, and reopen the roads, except for the “emergency” area, which is under a military siege, until the suspects are handed over.
After the clashes stopped and tensions eased, UNRWA began its first measures to restore and reopen some of its facilities, as it began, in cooperation with the Danish Demining Organization (DCA), the process of surveying the four schools in the Bustan al-Quds area (Qibya, Fallujah, Marj). Bin Amer, Hattin), in addition to the Environmental Health Services Office and the Relief and Social Services Office, to ensure that it is free of any unexploded materials, and to coordinate with the Lebanese army to defuse it.
In this context, the head of the UNRWA Education Department in Sidon, Mahmoud Zeidan, said that the agency adheres to a protocol that cannot be bypassed or jumped over, in the security inspection of any center, office, or school into which armed men have entered.
Zidane explained to Al Jazeera Net that the agency, through a specialized team, began the survey process in the offices of the director of the camp and social affairs and one of the schools, and will continue its work next week on the rest of the schools.
AndZidane added “After that, the UNRWA engineering team will come to inspect the damage and estimate the cost, provided that the restoration process takes place as quickly as possible, in preparation for the return of the students.” Pointing out that “the security detection team found unexploded bombs, and a shell stuck between a wall and an iron grille, and they are being defused in cooperation and coordination with the Lebanese army.”
While Zidane denied that there was any deadline for completing these stages, he stressed that UNRWA is keen on the safe return of its students, explaining that the damage is not limited only to the buildings, but also includes equipment, as computers were damaged in some schools, and books and tools were damaged and lost. The office infrastructure, including electricity and water, also needs maintenance.
On the other hand, the Palestinian forces believe that there is “intentional procrastination by UNRWA” in prolonging the crisis, as it appears as if it does not wish to bear responsibility in the camp, or intends to transfer its institutions from it, according to what was stated by the official of the political relations of the Islamic Resistance Movement.agitationIn Sidon, Dr. Ayman Shanaa, who considered that the return of the educational process to its normal pattern in Ain al-Hilweh means more safety and stability, and not the other way around.
In his speech toTo Jazeera Net, he said Shana, “We have no fears about the deterioration of the security situation in the camp, but we have a bad feeling towards the UNRWA administration due to its procrastination and procrastination in returning students to their classes, especially in the four schools that are relatively far from the scene of previous clashes.”
In his opinion, there was no need to take all these measures and delay the start of their implementation, calling for accelerating the completion of survey, restoration and maintenance operations, “and not to use the financial deficit in the future as an excuse.”
While Palestinian sources told Al Jazeera Net that the survey process will be completed within a week, and that the engineering inspection and restoration will be completed within 3 weeks, they expressed their hope that the students will return to their four schools at the beginning of the new year 2024, that is, after the Christmas and New Year holidays in Lebanon.
And he said Political Relations Officer forIslamic Jihad movement In Sidon Ammar Houran, the security situation is stable, which contributes to accelerating the adoption of this step that the political and popular forces and the people who bear the additional financial burden in light of the difficult living and economic crisis are waiting for.
In his speech toFor Jazeera Net, Houran expressed his fear that UNRWA would move to transfer its institutions outside the camp as part of a plan to reduce services, stressing that there is a categorical rejection of this idea and of transferring students to Sidon throughout the new academic year.
He said that a temporary agreement had been reached in this regard pending security inspection, maintenance and restorationHe expressed his hope that “the administration will adhere to its promises and avoid the policy of procrastination to which it has become accustomed on every issue related to the rights of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.”