FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Militant supporters of the illegal settlers of Hebron attacked Human Rights Workers (HRWs), Palestinian teachers and children at approximately 7:40 this morning.
The small team of HRWs were on the street this morning ready to protect Palestinian children on their way to school. Attacks on Palestinian children are common, and tension in the area has been high during the Passover holiday period, when the settlers receive thousands of visitors who support their extreme militant actions.
While the HRW team waited for the children, a bus from Jerusalem full of young settler supporters arrived at the end of the street. About 15, aged in their late teens or early twenties got off the bus and gathered at the end of the street. Within minutes they walked up the street, heading for the HRWs and some Palestinian teachers and children.
They started to throw stones, and yelled “We’re going to kill you!” A Danish camerman from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) started to film, and immediately became a target for the settler group. The cameraman ran away. The settler group then attacked the other human rights workers, including Sister Anne Montgomery (who will be 80 in November) a member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). She was stoned, as were Tore (29) from Norway, and Karien (46) from Germany. Soldiers from the Israeli Army watched the entire incident and made no attempt to intervene.
Despite being attacked, the HRWs managed to protect two Palestinian teachers and three children who were on their way to the nearby school, which is next door to the settlement. The Palestinians were able to shelter on the first floor of a nearby building.
The attack finally stopped when the police arrived, and the attackers ran back to the settlement. All the HRWs have bruises from kicks, punches, and stones. Anna (21) a Swedish woman from the ISM was wounded by a stone. The HRWs have reported the incident to the police, but if past experience is a guide, the police are unlikely to take effective action against this unprovoked attack.
For more information:
Anna (ISM witness): 054-3045205
ISM Media Office: 02-2971824