Israeli settlers living illegally in Hebron, in the Palestinian West Bank, prevented Wednesday afternoon Palestinian school children from returning home from school in Hebron to their home village in Umm Tuba.
The children were accompanied by volunteers from a Christian Peace Team while they waited for the blockade to be cleared. The volunteers said they feared if they attempted to escort the children themselves, unarmed, they would be attacked by Israeli settlers from a colony known as ‘Maon Farm’, built illegally on Palestinian land.
Last Saturday, 70 Israeli colonisers surrounded a police escort jeep that was accompanying Palestinian students home and obstructed its travel for about an hour. Several colonisersrs threw eggs and sticks at the soldiers. None of the colonisers were arrested in the incident.
Palestinians living in the area pointed out that the Israeli settlers living illegally in the Hebron area, in the southern West Bank, are continually harassing, beating and throwing stones at Palestinian residents and international human rights observers who live in Hebron. It is also the site of the infamous Baruch Goldstein massacre in 1994, when Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein gunned down 27 Palestinian men, women and children who were praying at the Ibrahimi Mosque in central Hebron.