Settlers in the occupied territories have again attacked Christian peacemakers in Hebron. Two weeks ago, settlers in the West Bank launched a vicious attack on members of one of Ekklesia’s partner organisations – Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) – as they accompanied children to school, whipping them with chains and beating them severely. CPT places small ecumenical teams trained in nonviolent intervention in war zones for violence reduction.

Settlers in the occupied territories have again attacked Christian peacemakers in Hebron.

Two weeks ago, settlers in the West Bank launched a vicious attack on members of one of Ekklesia’s partner organisations – Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) – as they accompanied children to school, whipping them with chains and beating them severely.

CPT places small ecumenical teams trained in nonviolent intervention in war zones for violence reduction.

The children, from the village of Tuba, had experienced harassment from settlers in the past as they went to school in the village of al-Tuwani. Children from four small Palestinian villages started to experience the harassment when they began walking to a central school in the village of al-Tuwani in September. The Israeli police would not intervene to prevent the attacks, so villagers sought the protection of international accompaniment through CPT.

A coalition comprising Christian Peacemaker Teams, the Israeli group Tayush and members of Operation Dove, (an Italian Christian organization that undertakes accompaniment work similar to CPT’s work), set up a presence in the village of al-Tuwani beginning on September 12, 2004. The three groups initially committed themselves to six weeks of accompaniment after members of these organizations witnessed settler attacks on children each time they made exploratory visits to the area.

This latest attack took place on Saturday, October 9, at around 3p.m., on the road from Tuba to Tuwani. Eight settlers with wooden sticks and sling shots attacked CPTers Diana Zimmerman and Diane Janzen, an Operation Dove member, one resident from Tuwani, two residents from Tuba, and two fieldworkers from Amnesty International, Donatella Rovera and Maartje Houbrechts.

When the accompaniment team saw the settlers, dressed in blue jeans, t-shirts, and masks walking toward them they called the police immediately and began walking quickly away from the settlers.

Three of the settlers with sling shots ran after the Palestinians hurling stones at them. The other five settlers attacked the accompaniment team. The masked settlers hit Donatello Rovera and Diane Janzen with wooden sticks. Then the settlers
beat the Operation Dove member and stole his video camera.

The settlers finally ran away when one of the Amnesty International women yelled at the settlers in Hebrew, “The police are coming. You are not going to get away with this.”

The police did not arrive until thirty-five minutes after the internationals called for help.

The Operation Dove member collapsed on his way to the ambulance that took him to the hospital in Beer Sheva; doctors treated him for a broken arm and ruled out internal injuries.

The army has declared the path that runs beside the Ma’on settlement, closed.

The CPTers and Operation Dove members in Tuwani decided to accompany the school children from Tuwani to Tuba by another, longer route.

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/content/news_syndication/article_041011cpt.shtml