CPT: Israeli Settlers Attack Children for the Fourth Time in One Week
Chrisitian Peacemaker Teams, At-Tuwani:
On Wednesday July 30, settlers attacked fourteen Palestinian children between the ages six to twelve on their way from summer camp to their homes in the villages of Tuba and Magher Al-abeed. Five settlers hid themselves along the route of the children and waited for them. When the children approached the settlers began yelling, swearing, and throwing rocks at them. One settler jumped over the settlement fence and chased the children on a path leading to the village of Tuba. The Israeli soldiers assigned to protect the children (Jeep 611019) abandoned the children approximately 500 meters earlier, thereby failing to complete the escort of the children as ordered by the Israeli Knesset.
According to the father of five of the children, “the settlers must leave. If the settlers are here, there is no safety only fear.” This is the fourth attack on the children in the last week. On the 26th of July, the Israeli army refused to escort the children, claiming that the settlers would not attack them. The next day at least three settlers chased and threw rocks at the children. A masked settler also beat a CPT volunteer Joel Gulledge, hospitalizing him with head injuries.
Since that attack the Israeli military escort arrived over an hour late on two occasions to escort the children home. One soldier told a CPTer, “I haven’t the will to come.”
CPT volunteers assert that the Israeli military bears full responsibility for these continued violent attacks on children. The military’s complicity in settler violence and failure to enforce Israeli law means that Palestinian children will continue to be victims of violence.