Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More Attacks on the School Children

Israeli settlers from the settlement of Ma'on in the South Hebron Hills attacked Palestinian schoolchildren on their way home from school yesterday, 14 October. The children were returning from school in the village of At-Tuwani to their homes in villages of Tuba and Maghaer al Abeed. Two adult Israeli settlers waited for them near the end of the settlement, threw stones at the children and chased them towards Tuba.

"The children were very afraid when they arrived home," said O, one of the children's fathers.

This attack happened in spite of the fact that the Israeli military is responsible for escorting the children past the settlement of Ma'on and settlement outpost of Havot Ma'on. Both the settlement and the outpost are illegal in international law and the outpost is also illegal according to Israeli law. Despite the fact that there have been repeated attacks on the Palestinian elementary schoolchildren, and despite Palestinian, Israeli and international representations, the Israeli military continues to fail to escort the children safely past the settlement.

Their vehicles almost always stop and turn before the end of the route, which leaves the children to walk alone on a part of the route where Israeli settlers have attacked them several times. Internationals monitoring the school escort cannot see the children in this area.

Settler attacks on the schoolchildren from Tuba and Maghaer al Abeed have been a recurrent problem for years, and the implementation of an Israeli military escort has failed to solve the problem. Last year, the 2007-2008 academic year, settlers attacked the children a total of fourteen times, as documented in the report "A Dangerous Journey: Settler Violence Against Palestinian Schoolchildren Under Israeli Military Escort."

Source: Christian Peacemaker Teams

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