When ‘flexing muscle’ means terrorizing children

The Golani Brigade left Hebron last week and a collective sigh of relief passed through the town. The Golani are famous for being tough on the civilian Palestinian population, and there was some hope that the violations administered by the Golani Brigade would not be repeated by the newly arrived Kfeer brigade. Three weeks ago, on a visit to the Mutanabbi boys school (which is located on a road that settlers use frequently), the principal reported that 27 instances of physical and verbal abuse against the school children by the army during one week alone. A teacher was detained at a checkpoint for 4 hours while on his way to work, and flying checkpoints (pop-up checkpoints) had been set up outside the school, where harassment of the children was regular. When speaking to the principal he told us that the week prior a settler, armed with an M16 assault rifle, had walked into the school, and threatened to blow up the school if students didn’t stop throwing stones. In any other instance this threat would be taken seriously and investigations would ensue. However, in Hebron, the residents say that settlers rule the army and protection is only for the chosen few. Read more

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