Two Palestinian girls, students of the Anata secondary school in East Jerusalem, were injured Thursday when Israeli troops fired tear gas canisters at schoolgirls and their parents who were gathered for the school’s graduation ceremony.
Eyewitnesses said that the troops raided the school and fired tear gas at the crowd, hitting one girl in the leg and causing another girl to faint as a result of inhaling the gas.
The headmistress of the school condemned the raid on a day she hoped would be joyous for the graduates, and called upon international human rights organizations to pressure Israeli authorities to stop harassing Palestinian schoolchildren. Children are often the target of Israeli troops’ aggression — more than 1,000 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of the current violence in 2000.
Anata secondary school is targeted by Israeli forces on an almost daily basis, as the school lies in the path of the Israeli annexation Wall. The Wall is currently being constructed through the middle of the school’s playground. Students and teachers have tried to maintain their education despite the Wall, but the nearly daily attacks by Israeli soldiers on the schoolchildren has made this extremely difficult, according to the school’s headmistress.