Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Friday, January 01, 2010

AT-TUWANI RELEASE: Israeli army negligence permits Israeli settler attack on children

Absolutely horrific. Adult settlers chasing and throwing stones at children? How is this tolerated? And don't begin to tell me it isn't tolerated, because it is, and we write about it every time it happens which seems to be every couple months. It's so evil, what is done to these kids. Going to school and having to sit through class after a grown man just chased you and tried to bash in your head with a stone. Odious, horrendous, and evil. We pray for peace, we labor for peace. God in your mercy, hear our prayer.

*Note - I am working on translating some video testimonies we took from the parents and the kids after this happened. It's putting me at the limits of my Arabic knowledge, but inshallah, I will finish it and post it soon.


31 December 2009

[Note: According to the Geneva Conventions, the International Court of Justice in the Hague, and numerous United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) are illegal. Most settlement outposts are considered illegal under Israeli law.]

At-Tuwani, South Hebron Hills On Wednesday morning, 30 December 2009, an Israeli settler from the outpost of Havat Ma'on (Hill 833) chased and threw stones at Palestinian schoolchildren from the villages of Tuba and Maghayir Al-Abeed. The Israeli army exposed the children to this attack by arriving more than ninety minutes late to escort the children to their school in the village of At-Tuwani.

The schoolchildren had been waiting for the army escort to arrive for nearly thirty minutes when an Israeli settler came out from a house within Havat Ma'on. The fourteen Palestinian children, ages six to fifteen, immediately began to move away from the settler, towards their village. Witnesses reported that when the settler saw the children moving away, he charged towards them, hurling stones at the children with a slingshot. He chased them several hundred meters, all the way back to their village. Tareq Ibrahim Abu Jundiyye, a fifteen-year-old boy from Tuba, said, regarding the experience, “The younger kids started crying as we were running away because they were afraid the settler would catch them. I mean, we had to run away. If I had stayed I would have been struck on the head by a rock.”

While the children were waiting, CPTers made calls to the local army office, urging them to send soldiers to escort the schoolchildren. The army dispatcher claimed that the soldiers thought there was no school because of the rain. The army only arrived after the mayor of At-Tuwani called the Palestinian District Coordinating Office (DCO), a Palestinian body responsible for liaising with the Israeli military regarding civilian affairs in Area C, and the DCO, in turn, spoke with the Israeli army. The army's late arrival caused the children to miss their first two classes of the day.

The children require a military escort to and from school because of repeated attacks by Israeli settlers from Ma’on and Havat Ma’on. The children must wait for the Israeli military in an area controlled by the Israeli settlers, a location where settlers have attacked the children several times in the past.

For a complete report on the school escort in 2007-2008, including maps, photographs and interviews with the children, please see “A Dangerous Journey” at <http://www.cpt.org/files/Dangerous-Journey-Summary-2008.pdf>_

A report for the school year 2008-2009 is forthcoming.

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