A Dangerous Journey

Settler Violence Against Palestinian Schoolchildren Under Israeli Military Escort

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Christian Peacemaker Teams and Operation Dove
Fall 2008

Settler Violence, Military

“The children face beatings from settlers. Sometimes they spend all day in fear... The settlers must leave. If the settlers are here there is no safety. There is no safety; there is only fear.”

– O., father of school children

Each day, up to 25 children from the Palestinian villages of Tuba and Maghaer al-Abeed walk past the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’on and illegal the settlement outpost of Havat Ma’on on their way to and from school in the village of At-Tuwani. For years, armed, adult settlers have attacked, threatened and harassed the children along this dangerous path. Since 2004, the Israeli military has provided the children with an armed escort, in an effort to provide them a measure of safety. Unfortunately, attacks continue and the escort itself has been the source of additional trouble. In addition to the physical violence, the children have missed many hours of class when soldiers have failed to arrive on time.

International accompaniers from the Christian Peacemaker Teams and Operation Dove have monitored the twice daily escort for the last four years. Their findings from the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years are detailed in this report. For example, during the 2007-08 school year:

  • settlers used violence against the children on 14 occasions;
  • children missed over 25 hours of class due to escort tardiness;
  • soldiers used physical violence against the children twice;
  • soldiers opted to ride in their vehicle rather than walk with the children 83% of the time;
  • internationals made 229 phone calls to the military because of problems with the escort.

chart showing that soldiers almost never actually accompany children the entire way to school
Times soldiers walked with the children vs. times the children walked unprotected.

Read the report in its entirety.

They need your help.

Please contact the Office of Public Inquiry for the Israeli Defense Forces through their website.

Remind them:

  • Palestinian children from At-Tuwani walk past the outpost to and from school.
  • For years, armed adult settlers have attacked, threatened and harassed the children along this dangerous path.
  • Since 2004 the IDF has provided children with armed escorts, but the attacks continue. The children live in constant fear.
  • In 2006, the Israeli DCO issued demolition for 18 illegally built structures in direct response to the repeated attacks. Four years later, the structures remain. And the children continue to be targeted.

Ask them:

  • Please investigate dismantling the illegal settlement outpost Havot Ma’on
  • Please protect Palestinian children beyond the green line.

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