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Kindergarteners in Hebron protest Israel’s detention of 350 children

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Yesterday Palestinian kindergarteners protested Israel’s jailing of 350 Palestinian children, in a march organized by the Hebron-based group Human Rights Defenders and the Palestinian residents of Shuhada Street. Israel detains children as young as 12 years old.

The kindergarteners rallied for three child prisoners in particular, a young girl named Razan Abu Sal, 13, who was sentenced to 13 and a half months and a fine of $870 (3000 NIS), Shadi Farrah, 12, who has already served two years of his three year sentence, and the infamous Ahed Tamimi, 17, who was detained (at age 16) on charges of incitement and slapping an Israeli soldier. She has become a worldwide symbol of child imprisonment and the Palestinian struggle for freedom.

(Photo: Human Rights Defenders)

Israeli settler Tzippi Shissel films Palestinian children as they demonstrate in Hebron. (Photo: Human Rights Defenders)

Activists with Human Rights Defenders, Badee Dwaik and Arif Jabar, organized the rally in one of the most contentious areas of Hebron, the Tel Rumeida neighborhood where Palestinians systematically experience violence from settlers, and the Israeli soldiers in the area tend to turn a blind eye, or back up those settlers.

Badee Dwaik told the group that the demonstration marked the start of the annual campaign, “Dismantle the Ghetto,” an effort to publicize and protest the horrors of life under the illegal occupation in the city of Hebron.  The campaign is a call for the lift the closures inside of the city and the suppression of its population.  It will be held on the 24th anniversary of the massacre at the Ibrahimi mosque by Baruch Goldstein. On February 25, 1994, Goldstein opened fire on Palestinians worshippers inside of the mosque, killing 29.

At the demonstration the children carried signs protesting the occupation, an all encompassing-word for the abuses and indignities that are carried out against them by Israeli soldiers and settlers. They chanted, “every child deserves a childhood.” They asked the international community to protect them and for international law to be upheld. They carried banners speaking of their anger at Israel and the Western countries that support Israel’s racist, apartheid, colonial, occupation of the Palestinian people. Israel is the only country in the world today that maintains an apartheid regime.

The demonstration culminated with settler attacks on two Palestinian journalists, Du’aa Yahya al-Atrash from Ma’an television and Zidan al-Sharbat. When the event ended, Israeli soldiers prevented the children from returning to their homes.

As the protest concluded, settlers approached the group. Anat Cohen, a settler notorious for slapping, kicking and yelling at activists, was filmed hitting Du’aa Yahya. Another settler, Ofer Hassan also known for his violence, attacked Human Rights Defenders’ Arif Jabar. Hassan even attempted to stop a Palestinian from filming the protest from inside his house even as he pleaded, “I am in my own home. Get out of here!”

Badee Dwaik

Badee Dwaik is the Coordinator of Human Rights Defenders Group in Palestine and an activist in Hebron.

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12 Responses

  1. Ossinev on February 5, 2018, 2:29 pm

    “The kindergarteners rallied for three child prisoners in particular, a young girl named Razan Abu Sal, 13, who was sentenced to 13 and a half months and a fine of $870 (3000 NIS), Shadi Farrah, 12, who has already served two years of his three year sentence, and the infamous Ahed Tamimi, 17, who was detained (at age 16) on charges of incitement and slapping an Israeli soldier”

    Israelis are world leaders in no not cherry tomatoes , no not Hummus dishes but yes they are streets ahead in their wonderful incredibly moral children`s incarceration programme.

    What a truly ugly freakish bunch of people they have become – with apologies to the rapidly diminishing number of righteous Israeli Jews who have the integrity and courage to condemn these transgressions against basic human values and the moral values of the Jewish religion itself.

    • Misterioso on February 6, 2018, 11:17 am

      Church Times, Feb. 2/18

      “Israeli treatment of minors censured”

      “A campaign to end the detention of Palestinian children is gathering pace. Earlier this week, Nick Davies visited the military courts.”


      “This week, Ahed Tamimi turns 17. She recently came to global attention after a video of her slapping an Israeli soldier who was standing on her family’s property went viral on social media. She is now under arrest, and, with one provocative act, she has become the face of hundreds of Palestinian children imprisoned by Israel every year.

      “This week, I visited the child military courts at Ofer, on the West Bank. I was taken there by the NGO Military Court Watch. The courts are a series of Portakabins within a maze of wire-mesh fences. We arrived by car through checkpoints and walled roads built for Israeli settlers. Many of the children who arrive there have a less comfortable journey.

      “Typically, they are picked up in night-time raids. Children as young as 12 are handcuffed, blindfolded, and taken on a journey of up to ten hours, on the floor of a jeep, to a dedicated children’s interrogation centre. Questioned without lawyers, few are advised of their right to silence. Often their traumatised confession is the only evidence submitted.”

      • MHughes976 on February 6, 2018, 12:58 pm

        Thanks very much for that, Mist – and to the Reverend Nick Davies for bringing this matter to the attention of an Anglican readership. If the Church of England can be shocked out of its torpor and cowardice some good might be done, but I have little confidence in that happening. I wonder if I can get some attention for it in the Oxford Diocesan Synod, of which I’m a rather inactive member.
        Though we know that this sort of thing is going on it’s still shocking to be reminded.

  2. JosephA on February 6, 2018, 12:40 am

    May Anat Cohen and the other violent, racist settlers get their comeuppance one day, and soon! In my ideal world, she and racist losers like her would be forced to live in a country that respects the rule of law and enforces equal rights for all of its citizens.

    • Misterioso on February 6, 2018, 12:47 pm


      They will “get their comeuppance one day.” It is inevitable, given the accelerating shift in how the world, including more and more Jews, views Israel, i.e., as a criminal, racist, apartheid entity, a rogue and a pariah, the very epitome of evil.

      However, it obvious that Netanyahu, Sheldon Adelson and their gang of fascists will take full advantage of the fact that an immoral, utterly corrupt moron is currently in the White House and he doesn’t give a damn about human rights for anyone, let alone Palestinians.

  3. RoHa on February 6, 2018, 12:59 am

    This line sums up the Israeli position.

    “When the event ended, Israeli soldiers prevented the children from returning to their homes.”

  4. eljay on February 6, 2018, 8:01 am

    Zionists are truly hateful and immoral people, whether they be (like):
    – the colonists described in this article, actively doing evil unto others; or
    – the supremacists here on MW, fervently defending their preferred brand of evil.

  5. Misterioso on February 6, 2018, 10:31 am

    “45 Palestinian schools under Israeli demolition threat”

    “The United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Sunday that at least 45 schools in Palestine were facing the threat of destruction by the Israeli authority.

    “In a released statement, the OCHA acting Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories Roberto Valent pointed out that a Palestinian school in East Jerusalem was destroyed by Israeli soldiers, and added: ‘The demolition was carried out on grounds of lack of Israeli-issued permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.’

    “’As in Abu Nuwar, hundreds of children attending one of at least 45 schools in the West Bank (37 in Area C” and 8 in East Jerusalem) with pending demolition orders are living in instability, with the specter of school demolition ever-present, threatening their access to education,’ Valent said in the statement.

    “According to the statement, Israeli soldiers destroyed two classrooms serving 26 Palestinian school children in the Bedouin and refugee community of Abu Nuwar, located in Area C on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

    “The education of the children at the school was financed by the European Union, it said noting that the demolishing happened without permission.”

  6. Elizabeth Block on February 6, 2018, 2:51 pm

    I was in Hebron two years ago, with Christian Peacemaker Teams. (You don’t have to be a Christian!)
    One of our tasks – our favourite – was Kindergarten Watch, accompanying the little children to and from school. They are SO cute.
    Isn’t attacking kindergarteners on their way to school an infringement of academic freedom?
    We were told about Anat Cohen. She has a record of attacking people, of trying to run them down with her car; and she had a new car, which made her all the more dangerous.
    Sorry to say it, but people like her give all Jews a bad name.

    • MHughes976 on February 6, 2018, 5:56 pm

      Yes, I suppose that it’s an important and valid point that the freedom to express an opinion is under attack here. A more subtle point than would be made if mention was made on,y of the inhuman cruelty.

  7. Misterioso on February 6, 2018, 4:27 pm

    The Electronic Intifada

    Israel demolishes another EU-funded school
    Tamara Nassar Rights and Accountability 6 February 2018.

    “Israeli occupation forces demolished two school buildings in the Abu Nuwwar community on 4 February, located in the so-called E1 area of the occupied West Bank, east of Jerusalem.
    The destruction leaves more than 25 children in the third and fourth grades without a place to learn.

    “’The demolition of educational buildings is one of the means Israel uses in its attempt to expel Palestinian communities from their homes, so that it can concentrate the residents in enclaves and use the territory for its own needs,’ the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem stated.

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