A video of the attack on Palestinian students and teachers by Israeli soldiers at a school in occupied Hebron in September was released by B’Tselem this week. The video shows Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers entering Al-Hajeriyah school for boys during a search for a Palestinian youth who allegedly threw stones.
According to B’Tselem, about 15 soldiers and Border Police officers who were chasing the Palestinian youth searched the school, entered classrooms, attacked staff members and forcibly removed two 14-year-old students from their classroom, dragging and beating them.
The 14-year-old boys were detained by the Israeli occupation’s security forces in the street across from the school. At the same time occupation forces hurled a stun grenade at teachers who came towards them to rescue the boys. After Palestinian youths threw stones at the forces, they led the two students into the checkpoint compound, sat them down on the ground and questioned them about throwing stones. During the questioning, a soldier slapped one of the students after he asked to be addressed in Arabic.
Disputing the Israeli media’s sanitised description of the incident, B’Tseme said: “This sedate, peaceful description is far removed from the brutality that took place at the school that day: soldiers and Border Police officers forced their way into the school, beat teachers and students, dragged two students outside for no reason, beat them, and then simply let them go as if nothing had happened. All this is integral to the occupation regime in the West Bank.”
“Two soldiers forced their way into the 9th-grade classroom and grabbed one of the students,” Ihab A-Rajabi, the vice principal of the school, told B’Tselem. “I blocked their way and managed to get him out of their hands. The other teachers and I tried to explain to the soldiers that the students hadn’t left the classrooms. One of the soldiers pushed me violently up against the wall in front of the students, who were very frightened.”
Speaking about the ordeal A-Rajabi mentioned that his arm was wounded and was bleeding as a result of the assault by the Israeli security forces. He was pushed with a rifle and kicked by Israeli officers.