Hundreds of Palestinian students from the occupied West Bank and Gaza have left the Jewish state for a new school in the occupied territories, the Education Ministry announced Tuesday.
The school, which is run by the Arab village of Dara’a in the southern part of the West Bank, opened in September as part of an ambitious plan to help Palestinian children return to school after living in Israel.
Since its opening, the school has been struggling to attract students.
The average attendance rate is around 70 percent, according to the Education Minister, and only 15 percent of students are enrolled.
The new school is the latest effort by the Palestinian Authority to revive the once-popular Palestinian education sector.
Israel expelled the PA in 1967, and it has been barred from returning to the territories since 1979.
Since then, the Palestinian school sector has suffered from years of economic blockade and an Israeli occupation that has resulted in many schools having closed.
Palestinian schools are a critical part of education for many Palestinians, who are denied full Israeli citizenship.
The Education Ministry said in a statement that it hoped the new school would help the Palestinian education system achieve a higher standard and achieve more scholarships and scholarships for students from low-income families.
The Palestinian Authority has been building the school, as well as other schools in the area, since it was founded in 2014.
In 2017, more than 2,000 Palestinian students, mostly from Dara’ta, joined a group of approximately 1,200 students who left the West Jerusalem area.
A number of these students also traveled to Israel to attend a new Israeli school.
The number of students who have returned to the West in the past few months has more than doubled, the ministry said.
The move comes as Israel has increased security measures and restrictions in the West for the first time since the start of the Palestinian uprising in 2012.
Israel has since restricted Palestinians to a single-story home in East Jerusalem and increased the number of security checkpoints it has installed around the city.
The IDF said Tuesday that it had closed more than 70 checkpoints, including some in East Daraa, and deployed more troops and soldiers’ vehicles in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Israel is also expanding its security measures in the territories.
On Tuesday, Israeli forces raided the homes of two Palestinians suspected of plotting a terror attack on the Israel Defense Forces base in the city of Jenin.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the two were arrested on Tuesday night and were expected to be extradited to the United States.
In January, Israeli soldiers raided the home of two Palestinian activists and searched their cars, as part and parcel of the crackdown on the activist movement.
In the same month, Israeli authorities arrested seven people on charges including sedition, incitement to commit violence, inciting hatred against the state, and inciting hatred against Jews.