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,
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