Field Reports, General, Occupied Territories
Repeated attacks on Palestinian students in South Hebron Hills
Last Wednesday (February 15 2017), international activists reported another attack on Palestinian students on their way to school in the village A Tuwani by Israeli extremists coming from the direction of the illegal outpost Havat Maon. Attacks on Palestinian students in the region have become so routine that an army patrol jeep has been tasked to escort the students and increase their efforts to apprehend the perpetrators. Yet, as far as we know, security forces have not ramped up their efforts to catch those responsible, while the patrol itself often does not show up to provide protection to the students, forcing them to decide between taking the risk of possibly being attacked, or accruing frequent classroom absences.
Photo: Accompanied students traveling to A Tuwani. Photo: Guy Hirschfeld, Ta’ayush
Last Wednesday, when no patrol arrived to escort the students, they elected to take a route that is further from the outpost, but takes substantially longer. Nevertheless, the students were violently attacked — fortunately, there were no serious injuries. This incident and the ones before it demonstrate a severe systemic failure of the security forces to fulfill their duty to provide security to Palestinian children, stop those who commit violent, ethnically motivated terror, and make every effort to bring the perpetrators to justice.
In response to this incident, Rabbis for Human Rights sent an urgent letter to the Hebron police, the DCO and the Legal Advisor demanding an immediate, comprehensive strategy to prevent these attacks while also guaranteeing that the military patrol will heed its responsibility to protect the students so long as this grave security situation continues.