AT-TUWANI: Palestinian Authority representatives respond to Israeli military escort delays


16 April 2011
AT-TUWANI: Palestinian
Authority representatives respond to Israeli military escort delays

 On Tuesday, 12
April, the governor of Hebron, Kamel Hamaid, and the director of the Hebron
district Ministry of Education, Fawzi Abu Hlayel, visited the At-Tuwani
school.  Then the two Palestinian Authority
representatives walked with school children to the place where they usually
meet the Israeli military escort intended to protect the children on their
journey home to the villages of Tuba and Maghayir al Abeed.

  The escort accompanies the children on
the road that runs between the Israeli settlement of Ma’on and settlement outpost
of Havat Ma’on because the children have suffered many threats, and attacks
from settlers along this route.

 The visiting
governmental officials, together with the local school headmaster, the mayor,
and representatives from the local council, observed the military escort arrive
on time and accompany the children without incident—unlike the two previous
afternoons.  Palestinian TV was
also present, documenting the visit and escort.

 The preceding
days, 10 and 11 April, the children waited nearly two hours each day for the
escorting soldiers to arrive.  On
10 April, the escort failed to arrive at all, and after waiting from 1:30 until
3:20, the children had to take a much longer route home.  The next day, the children again waited
over ninety minutes and then, as they began to walk the longer route, a passing
army jeep stopped and accompanied the children back to and along the usual,
shorter path.  Both days the children
arrived in Tuba around 4:00.  On 12
April, in contrast, the children reached the village before 1:30.

 The Local
Council and the Popular Committee for the Nonviolent Resistance consider the
visit of Hamaid and Abu Hlayel, following the visit made two weeks ago by
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, to be a sign of the increased
attention by the Palestine Authority for the South Hebron Hills area.  The Popular Committee and the Local
Council are committed to advancing living conditions and access to resources
for the Palestinian residents of the South Hebron Hills.

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