At-Tuwani On Wednesday morning, 30 December 2009, an Israeli settler from the Israeli outpost of Havat Ma'on (Hill 833) chased and attacked Palestinian schoolchildren from the villages of Tuba and Maghayir Al-Abeed. The Israeli army exposed the children to this attack by arriving more than 90 minutes late to escort the schoolchildren to their school in the village of At-Tuwani.
The schoolchildren had been waiting for the army escort to arrive for nearly 30 minutes when an Israeli settler came out from a house within Havat Ma'on. The fourteen children, ages 6-15, immediately began to move away from the settler, towards their village. When the settler saw the children moving away he charged them, hurling stones at the children with a slingshot. Tareq Ibrahim Abu Jundiyye, a 15 year old boy from Tuba, spoke about 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 would have stayed I would have been struck on the head by a rock.
International peace activists made several calls to the local army office urging them to send soldiers in order 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, a Palestinian body responsible for liasing with the Israeli military regarding civilian affairs in Area C, who 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 Maon and Havat Maon. 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.
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-Summ ary-2008.pdf
A report for the school year 2008-2009 is forthcoming.