REPORT: The Closed Road to Education – Palestinian Students Suffer Under Violent Settlement Expansion

At-Tuwani, South Hebron Hills, Occupied Palestinian Territories
During the 2008-09 school year, nearly 20 Palestinian children, ages 6 to 14, from the villages of Tuba and Maghayir al Abeed attended primary school in At-Tuwani. To reach school, the children typically took the shortest route – the main road that connects their villages with At-Tuwani and passes between the Israeli settlement of Ma’on and the Israeli outpost of Havat Ma’on (Hill 833). Because of ongoing Israeli settler violence against the school children, the Israeli military continued a daily escort of the children to and from school. Notwithstanding the Israeli military escort, settlers from the settlement of Ma’on and outpost of Havat Ma’on (Hill 833) continued to impede the children’s journey to school and use violence against the children. This school year, settlers used violence against the children on 10 occasions. The soldiers executing the escort at times failed to protect the children and frequently arrived tardy, causing the children to wait, sometimes for hours, before and after school. In addition, the soldiers regularly failed to provide a complete escort of the children, almost always leaving the children to walk unescorted beside settlement buildings, in an area where settlers have attacked them.