Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Release: Israeli settlers attack, harass, and intimidate Palestinian schoolchildren on their way to and from school

On 29 March, Israeli settlers harassed, intimidated, and attacked Palestinian children on their way to and from school in the village of At-Tuwani. In the morning, settlers yelled and threw stones at the children coming to school from the villages of Tuba and Maghayir Al Abeed. The military escort in the area, which is to take the children to and from school to ensure their safety, did nothing during the attack. Fearing for their safety, the children were forced to take a different path to school, doubling the walk from 20 to 45 minutes. On their way home from school, one adult Israeli settler and four children followed the Palestinian children and military escort. They were soon joined by two adult settlers, and a large group of adults and teenagers. The settlers yelled insults and threats at the school children, but the Israeli army kept them at bay.

An adult settler displayed his buttocks to international observers monitoring the escort.

About twenty children from the villages of Tuba and Maghayir Al Abeed walk to school in At-Tuwani each day. The Israeli military, under orders from the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) Committee for the Rights of the Child, have accompanied the children past the illegal settlement outpost of Havat Ma’on since 2004 because of settler attacks on the children.

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