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Right to Education

Volunteers Escorting Palestinian Schoolchildren Attacked

Written by admin  •  Wednesday, 29.09.2004, 13:29

Amira Hass, Haaretz, 29 September 2004

Unidentified assailants attacked two American Christian volunteers who were escorting Palestinian schoolchildren on Wednesday morning near the settlement of Maon in the southern Hebron Hills area of the West Bank.

The assailants beat the volunteers and robbed them. The two were evacuated by Israeli ambulance to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.

The attackers, numbering four or five, were dressed in black and wore masks. They spoke English and were carrying chains and clubs.

They did not attack the schoolchildren, who quickly fled the scene, but stole a bag belonging to female volunteer Kim Lamberty, 44, and broke her arm. The bag contained her passport, money and cellular phone.

The assailants beat the second volunteer, Chris Brown, 39, with chains. He suffered a punctured lung and external bleeding.

Both volunteers are affiliated with the Christian Peacemakers Teams, which escorts Palestinian schoolchildren living with their families in caves in the village of Tuba to their primary school in the village of Al-Tuwani, an approximately half-hour walk.

The road along which the volunteers and schoolchildren pass is used by settlers and is forbidden to Palestinian vehicular traffic. Palestinian pedestrians, however, are permitted to use the road.

However, the schoolchildren are afraid to pass unescorted through the area because of what they describe as harrassment by area Jewish settlers.

Asked about Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. activists, Josh Hasten, a spokesman for the settlers’ Yesha Council, said: “We know nothing of this specific incident but are opposed to any violation of the law.”

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