AT-TUWANI: Israeli military negligence again allows settlers to threaten Palestinian children with physical violence

 

CPTnet
2 November 2009
AT-TUWANI: Israeli military negligence again allows settlers to threaten Palestinian children with physical violence

 

[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 are illegal.  Most settlement outposts are considered illegal under Israeli law.] 

 

On Tuesday 27 October 2009, Palestinian schoolchildren from the villages of Tuba and Maghayir Al Abeed did not attend school in At-Tuwani because Israeli settlers from the settlement of Ma'on and its outpost, Havat Ma'on, threatened them.

Internationals from Christian Peacemaker Teams and Operation Dove made repeated calls to the Israeli military, to whom the Israeli Knesset had given a mandate to escort the children from Tuba and Maghayir Al Abeed to the area school in At-Tuwani.  After waiting forty-five minutes for the Israeli military to arrive, the children and the internationals began walking a longer route to school at 8:15 am, fifteen minutes after the start of the school day.  However, four adult Israeli settlers, one masked and armed with a slingshot, and settlers in a pickup truck blocked their way.  The internationals ran with the children back to Tuba.  As a result, sixteen children missed a day's education.

Later, at 8:47, after the children returned to Tuba, an Israeli military jeep came to the area in which the settlers had threatened the children.  Soldiers from the jeep spoke with members of Operation Dove who were in the area.  The soldiers claimed they were new and did not know where to meet the children for the escort, though at no point previously did international volunteers see a jeep driving in the area.

This is the second consecutive day in which the Israeli military has failed to arrive to escort the Palestinian children to and from school, forcing them to take a longer path along which Israeli settlers have attacked them on numerous occasions.

In 2004, following a series of attacks by Israeli settlers on the schoolchildren and international volunteers accompanying them, the Israeli Knesset mandated the Israeli military to provide daily accompaniment for the children on the shortest possible route to and from school.  The Israeli military has repeatedly failed to carry out this task adequately, resulting in children being late for school and subject to unnecessary anxiety and risk.

Background information

During the 2008-2009 school year, settlers used violence against the children ten times; two of these times the settlers threw rocks at the children.

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 www.cpt.org/files/Dangerous-Journey-Summary-2008.pdf