Settlers attack children, raid kindergarten in Hebron

Families in Hebron’s Jabal Jalis neighbourhood are facing increasing abuse from Israeli settlers and soldiers, making basic daily tasks impossible.
an empty playground at the kitdergarten where settlers raided and attacked children

Violence goes hand-in-hand with land grabbing in Jabal Jalis, a neighbourhood of al Khalil/Hebron. Earlier this month, we were reminded of the harsh reality of having one’s house surrounded by encroaching settlements, and how settlers become more dangerous when they actively seek to push you out of your land.

Since the arrival of settlers in the area, the local community of Jabal Jalis has faced escalating intimidation, with tensions significantly intensifying since 7 October. In a particularly alarming incident, settlers threw stones at kindergarten children, a claim they (audaciously) justified by accusing the children of initiating the confrontation. However, nearby camera footage reviewed by an Israeli police officer confirmed the settlers’ allegations to be false. That same night, settlers raided the kindergarten.

Daily life has grown increasingly difficult for Palestinians, as occupation forces intensify efforts to disrupt their normal routines. A journey that once took a mere 10 minutes on foot to reach the city center of Al Khalil/Hebron is now over 20 minutes by car due to countless roadblocks, checkpoints, and restricted areas. Additionally, settlers, alongside soldiers, have imposed a unilateral directive on the residents of Jabal Jalis, limiting their freedom to leave their homes to just a two-hour window each day. Transgressors, they said, will face violent repercussions.

All over Palestine, Israeli authorities and settlers restrict access to fundamental services and in Jabal Jalis, they consider even the provision of oxygen tanks for the elderly a national security threat. Additionally, municipal workers are barred from entering the area to repair electrical services or collect garbage. As trash accumulates, settlers have demanded it be left just meters away from residential homes and playgrounds, sending the message that “You are trash, and you deserve to live in it.”

In response to persistent intimidation, harassment, and potentially lethal threats from settlers, Palestinian families display extraordinary resilience and unity. They have cultivated a culture of mutual support and vigilance, organizing communal watch schedules to guarantee constant surveillance. This system ensures that at any sign of an approaching threat, a lookout can alert the community, enabling members to seek refuge. This collective approach not only underscores their determination to survive but also embodies the profound strength found in solidarity.

Pray for the families of Jabal Jalis, pray for strength, hope, and steadfastness in the face of an oppressive and violent occupation. Pray for equal rights for all and an end to settler-colonial occupation and apartheid systems that control every aspect of Palestinian lives. Pray for justice and freedom. 

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