27 April 2011
HEBRON: Israeli military invades Palestinian school
Around 10:50 a.m. on 21 April 2011, during the Jewish
festival of Passover, CPTers received a call saying that Israeli soldiers had
invaded the premises of Bin Tarek School. Between 600-700 boys, aged fifteen
through eighteen attend the school.
CPTers went immediately to the building, and saw a group of
six Israeli soldiers at a street corner near the school.
School staff welcomed the CPTers and members of TIPH
(Temporary International Presence in Hebron), who arrived at the same
time. The Head teacher played a video from a camera on a TV screen that showed soldiers in the school playground. He also had on his desk two spent percussion grenades and a
heavy chain that soldiers had cut.
Teachers told the internationals that at 10:35 a.m., when
the pupils were all in their classrooms, Israeli soldiers arrived
unannounced and tried each of the doors/gates to get onto the school
premises. The soldiers cut through the chain holding one of the gates and
got into the school playground. They were then unable to get through any
of the entrances into the school building itself. The soldiers set off
two percussion grenades in the school playground, upsetting the pupils.
As school ended and the boys left, the teachers stationed
themselves outside the school to monitor their departure. Despite
the impact of the soldiers’ attack on their school, the boys left for home in
an orderly manner and continued to behave well as CPTers followed them up the
street and through the Qitoun checkpoint.
The Israeli military reportedly justified their invasion of
the school by claiming that pupils had been throwing stones. However, Israeli
and Palestinian authorities are legally obligated to consult with each other in
such circumstances, before one side takes action. The Israeli military did not follow these procedures.