Israeli army leaves Palestinian school children in danger

school run

school run

This morning, the Israeli military failed to arrive at the appointed time to escort Palestinian  schoolchildren from Tuba and Maghayir al-Abeed to their primary school in At-Tuwani. This was despite several calls from Christian Peacemaker Team members (CPTers) informing them that the children were waiting for the military escort.

When the Israeli military failed to arrive, CPTers made calls to the  army and were told that the escort was coming. At 8am, the CPTers  called the army a third time to inform them that the children were waiting in a dangerous area and that school had already started. The  army dispatcher insisted that the children would have to wait until 8.30am before the army arrived. When the CPTer explained that the children were in an area where they might be attacked by settlers, the dispatcher laughed and said: “Nothing’s going to happen.”

Having already waited 45 minutes for the army to arrive, the children  decided to walk alone to school along a path on which settlers have attacked them in the past. The children arrived at school 45 minutes late.

The children, aged from 6 to 14, require a military escort to and from school, because of attacks by Israeli settlers Ma’on and Havat Ma’on. When the Israeli military does not arrive on time to accompany the children to Tuwani, they must wait in an area controlled by the Israeli settlers, a location where settlers have attacked the young Palestinian children on a number of occasions in the past.

In this school year the children have  already been late for school on five mornings out of sixteen. On the morning of Monday 7 September 2009, at the end of the Ma'on chicken barns, an Israeli settler came towards the children yelling at them. The children ran part way to school.

During the 2008-2009 school year settlers used violence against the children 10 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:

*A report for the school year 2008-2009 will shortly be available.

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.

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