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Illegal settlers break into kindergarten, damage property

7th March 2017 | International Solidarity Movement, al-Khalil team | Hebron, occupied Palestine

Colonial settlers from the illegal settlements in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron) have repeatedly invaded and damaged a Palestinian kindergarten located on Shuhada Street over the last two days.

On Saturday night, the colonial settlers entered the Shuhada Street kindergarten, stealing two Palestinian flags and breaking cameras installed by the Palestinian families. The kindergarten connects directly to the roof of a residential building that houses three Palestinian families, which is accessible by the settlers through this roof access.  The three families are now feeling under threat.

The following day, on Sunday afternoon, settlers again entered the kindergarten, but were surprised by the presence of Palestinians on their roof. Settlers then threw stones at the Palestinian youths before leaving. They cut a hole in the fence which protects the kindergarten entrance from illegal settlers entering. The settlers had clearly planned in advance to cut the fence as they had  brought the necessary tools with them.

Wire-mesh fence cut by the settlers
Photo-credit: Human Rights Defenders Group

Settlers from the illegal settlements, under the protection of the Israeli forces, enjoy almost complete impunity for their actions, while Palestinians under the Israeli military law are presumed guilty until they can prove otherwise. The Palestinians living in the H2-area under full Israeli military control have no institution they can turn to for protection or help in this case, but are at the full mercy of the Israeli forces and settlers. With settlers having entered the compound for two days in a row, and the water tanks on the roof easily accessible, the families now do not only have to fear even more for their safety in their own homes, but also about being poisoned through their drinking water supply. In the past settlers in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood poisoned the water tank of a Palestinian family.  Fortunately the poisoning was detected before anyone drank the water.