The Christian Peace Maker Teams (CPT) stationed in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, reported that two extremist Israeli settlers attacked on Wednesday two international observers who attempted to monitor the escort of Palestinian children to their school as the settlers continuously attack the children enroot to their schools.The CPT reported that the settlers had their faces covered, and used a slingshot to throw stones at the internationals.

In its statement, the CPT said that Cassandra Dixon and Eileen Hanson were monitoring the escort of children from Tuba to At-Tuwani area, in the southern Hebron Hills, from a new location due to problems with the escort in recent weeks. The Israeli military escort has failed to accompany the children throughout the entire route as ordered, and settlers have threatened the children while they are coming and going from school.

One of the settlers yelled threatening remarks at the children and hurled a rock at them.

About twenty children from the villages of Tuba and Magayer Al Abeed walk to the elementary school in At-Tuwani each day. They are usually accompanied by an Israeli military escort past the illegal settlement outpost of Havat Maon.

The Children’s Committee of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, ordered the escort in 2004 after a series of settler attacks on the children.

The most recent attack on the children was on April 7th, 2007, when settlers stole some of the children’s backpacks, and three of the children were injured fleeing the attack. The ages of the children in the school escort are between 6 and 12 years old.

Also, the new gate on the road represents yet another expansion in the illegal settlement outpost of Havat Maon (Hill 833). Despite orders issued by the Israeli government calling for the removal of this illegal settlement outpost, to date no action has been taken toward its removal.