Five weeks after the massacre in the Gaza envelope communities and the outbreak of the Swords of Iron War, the educational system in East Jerusalem appears to have taken a significant hit. This report was written with the purpose of outlining the situation of the educational system in East Jerusalem during the war, discussing rising issues and offering initial policy recommendations to deal with the problems and challenges facing the decision-makers and the senior executive level of the Ministry of Education, Jerusalem Municipality, the Israel Police, and the various government ministries.

Publication Date: November 13, 2023
Writer: Dr. Amnon Ramon


On Tuesday, November 7, 2023, the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, in collaboration with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, held an online meeting (via Zoom). The meeting addressed the situation in the East Jerusalem school system in these times of war and state of emergency. More than one hundred participants were in attendance: representatives of the Jerusalem Education Administration in the Jerusalem Municipality, the Ministry of Education, supervisors, teachers, parent committee representatives, East Jerusalem activists, and others.

Contributing factors to the rising issues mentioned in the report include a rise in the fear factor and tensions between the city’s Jews and Arabs; the difficulties that have arisen at the crossings into the city from neighborhoods outside the fence; mobility issues and checkpoints enroute to educational institutions inside the city; the fragile emotional state of children and teaching staff who are afraid to express their feelings and fears at school; the severe shortage of shelters and safe spaces; and what is perceived by East Jerusalem residents as over-policing and police brutality against students and teachers.

As mentioned in our previous reports, the meetings show that East Jerusalem is currently in a very delicate and sensitive state of repressed pressure, which at this stage has not yet reached a boiling point, but it may be getting closer. The purpose of the meetings is to get a more comprehensive understanding of current issues and formulate operative recommendations and potential solutions for decision-makers and authorities to use in order to respond to the residents, protect their rights, and prevent escalation in this sensitive area. (See details in the full document)

Summary of the Report