Israeli settlers attack Palestinian schoolgirls with axes
Monday November 26, 2007 22:37 by Saed Bannoura -
In the West Bank city of Hebron Monday morning, Israeli settlers armed with axes came after the students of the Qurtuba School for girls. The settlers broke water pipes, menaced children, blocked the path to the school, and tried to set the school on fire.
The school's principal, Reem Ash-Shareef, reported that this is not the first time Israeli settlers have attacked the school. She stated that attacks are frequent, and students on their way to school are menaced by Israeli settlers on a daily basis. International human rights workers have had to accompany the schoolgirls, but they, too, have been attacked with regular frequency by Israeli settlers.
The settlers in the Hebron area, which number several thousand, are reputed to be the most violent and extreme of Israeli settlers. They colonized an area right in the middle of a Palestinian population center of 200,000 with several dozen settlers thirty years ago. Since that time, 5,000 Israeli soldiers have been stationed around them to ‘protect’ the settlers from the Palestinians whose land they occupy.
Despite the constant provocation of the settlers, very few incidents of Palestinians attacking the settlers have been documented. But Hebron is the site of one of the bloodiest massacres of Palestinians by Israeli settlers – the 1994 massacre of 27 Palestinians praying in a mosque by Baruch Goldstein. That massacre prompted the first Palestinian suicide bombing, and resulted in the punishment of the Palestinian people of Hebron by Israeli authorities, who succumbed to the demand of Goldstein and split the Ibrahimi Mosque in half, building a Jewish synagogue to replace half of the Mosque where the massacre took place.
As for the Qurtuba School for Girls in Hebron, it is located on a site that the settlers are hoping to seize. So the girls face daily attacks and harassment by settlers hoping to force them to abandon their school. The principal points out that she has issued multiple complaints to the Israeli occupying authorities about the ongoing attacks, but nothing has been done to stop the settlers from attacking the children. (IMEMC)
This is by far not the first time this school or the children have been attacked. Read the following from this August:
Hebron: Settlers Suspected as Qurdoba School is Set AblazeAugust 6th, 2007 | Posted in Reports, Hebron Region
August 6, 2007 12:20pm
At 12:20pm international human right workers received a call from a local Palestinian coordinator that a section of Quartaba Girls School had been set on fire by Israeli settlers. Quartaba girls school is located directly across from Beit Hadassah settlement.
When internationals arrived Palestinian residents were present as well as an Israeli policeman. They found that the back screen door, which is a metal frame, had been peeled up. This was how the Israeli settlers managed to enter the school without being seen.
The settlers had placed the metal frame of a bed on top of a table and set fire to it, along with pictures of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. The burning effigy was placed directly in front of a metal door that the children and teachers use to enter the school.
The fire had been burning for about 10 minutes before nearby Palestinian residents came with buckets of water and managed to put the fire out and keep it from spreading.
The internationals documented the scene and were told by the Palestinians that an electricity wire had been cut above the fire. It was apparent that this fire was started by adult settlers as the act was quite methodical and symbolic in the way it was laid out, with the pictures (of the Dome of the Rock), and the way they broke into the school. They also managed to commit the act undetected by Palestinians which no settler child could accomplish, and leads one to suspect that the act must have been planned and coordinated.
Israeli soldiers also later came to survey the scene, and at one point actually said that, for all they knew, it could have been Palestinians who had started the fire. They said that their was no solid evidence that it was Israeli settlers who had started the fire. This was obviously completely wrong, and offensive, since no Muslim would burn pictures of the Dome of the Rock or set fire to a Palestinian girls school. The only people who had motive to start the fire are Israeli settlers, who have in the past frequently attacked the schoolgirls and the school itself.
After ten more minutes the door to the school was opened and the windows inside were opened in order to release the smoke trapped inside the school.
Except for smoke damage, which was quiet extensive, there appeared to be no more damage to the school except for the cut electricity cable which will have to be repaired.
Now tell me please, at Annapolis tomorrow are these settlements in Hebron going to be discussed? Is what is happening to these children there going to come up in conversation?
I would really like to know because MY country is hosting this conference at their own insistence
and my country also is the one who subsidizes Israel so that it can continue doing these things.
These children NEED to go to school and they NEED to be safe. Just what would happen to people who did this in America?