23rd September 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Khalil team | Hebron, Occupied Palestine
Today at Salaymeh checkpoint in Hebron, Israeli forces fired 29 rounds of tear gas and 5 stun grenades at children going to school.
The morning started off peaceful as children passed through the checkpoint but as word spread that two Palestinians had been murdered by the Israeli army the night before, tensions began to rise quickly. Israeli forces had a clear presence at the checkpoint from the start. A few small stones were thrown by a small number of young boys, but landed nowhere near the checkpoint.
Three Israeli Border police proceeded to fire the first round of tear gas at the children. In total, 29 tear gas canisters and 5 stun grenades were fired. This was extremely excessive and unnecessary as the Israeli border police were clearly in no danger. Two ambulances were called to the scene due to the immense amounts of tear gas fired and a Palestinian teacher stated that 30 school children and 15 teachers suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation.
International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activists then left Salaymeh checkpoint and headed over to Qeitun checkpoint around 5 minutes away as they heard the firing of tear gas.
At Qeitun checkpoint clashes had erupted and were underway between unarmed Palestinian youth and Israeli forces. An excessive amount of tear gas was used in addition to rubber coated steel bullets and stun grenades.
A small group of older boys were throwing stones but they did not manage to reach the Israeli forces. However, the commander insisted on firing despite the presence of the many young children, some as young as 8 years old, in front of them attempting to get to school.
Later on the Israeli forces threw stun grenades and brutally grabbed and arrested two young Palestinian boys between the ages of 14 and 15 years old. One of the boys whilst in a headlock and handcuffed was punched several times in the side. ISM activists ran up to ask the boys their names and correct ages but the Israeli forces were very hostile. They were both forced through the turnstiles and were kept at the checkpoint for a few minutes before Israeli forces marched them to the police station near the Ibrahimi mosque.