Israeli settlers escorted by military forces surrounded a Palestinian school in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Thursday morning, detaining a student and two teachers while leaving others trapped inside the school.
Sharif al-Froukh, the deputy headmaster of the al-Minya middle and high school in the village of Tuqu, said an Israeli settler chased students who were on their way to the school for their end-of-year exams, claiming that they had thrown rocks at him.
Al-Froukh added that Israeli forces had detained a fifth grader identified as Mahdi al-Kawazba, and two teachers, identified as Muhammad al-Qurneh and Khalid al-Araysi.
— Sarah Wilkinson (@swilkinsonbc) May 25, 2017
Al-Froukh said that two Israeli settlers’ vehicles and five military jeeps were surrounding the school, and that some teachers were staying at the entrance to prevent the Israelis from raiding the school, while other teachers and staff remained with students inside classrooms.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they were looking into the reports.
The case marked the second time two days that Israeli forces targeted Palestinian schoolchildren in the Bethlehem area, after at least two Palestinian children were beaten and detained by Israeli forces on Wednesday morning inside the Aida refugee camp.
No child should live through this—yet Palestinian children are targeted by IOF as they try to go to school like all children around the ? do pic.twitter.com/LFGDs32zQC
— Abbs Winston (@AbbsWinston) May 21, 2017
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with announcements of settlement expansion earlier this year sparking condemnation from the international community.
(Maan, PC, Social Media)