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Israeli Settlers Bomb Children's School in Hebron

Israeli Settlers Bomb Children's School in Hebron

18 September 2002

Palestine Media Center - PMC

Five Palestinian children, all no more than 8-years of age, were wounded Tuesday when a bomb exploded in their school south of the occupied West Bank City of Hebron. Israeli Police and Palestinian sources said they believed Israeli settlers were responsible.

School officials also accused Israeli settlers of planting the bomb in the school and described the incident as an "act of terrorism", which targets innocent school children. The blast caused severe damage to the several classrooms, officials added.

Sources relay that just after recess ended at around 9:45 AM, a large home-made bomb placed by a water cooler in the Ziff Secondary school yard at Yatta village exploded diffusing shrapnel and smoke along with it.

The school's principal, Yousef Abed Rabbo said it was almost a miracle the bomb had not gone off minutes earlier as the 380 pupils at the school would have been in the yard for their class break.

Students' relatives rushed to the school following the explosion to look for their beloved ones, eyewitnesses stated. The victims, all in stable condition, were transferred to local hospitals for treatment.

Israeli Police called to the scene safely detonated a second bomb they had discovered in the yard, as an Israeli military ambulance carried five children, wounded by glass and shrapnel flying into their classroom, to a Palestinian hospital for treatment.

Since the outbreak of Israeli hostilities on 29 September 2000, Israeli settler attacks against Palestinian life and property have increased dramatically. Armed Israeli settlers have, on a number of occasions, attacked Palestinian civilians on main roads and have often raided villages and damaged homes and farmlands.

Palestinian Minister of Local Governance Sa'eb Erekat said he held the Israeli government fully responsible for Tuesday's bombing.

Israel "failed to bring any of those who kill Palestinians in cold blood to justice," he stressed.

This was not the first attack on Palestinian school children in Hebron perpetrated by illegal settlers. Two similar bomb attacks on Palestinian schools had been carried out in the past year, wherein eight children were wounded, and in a second attempt at murder, a group of settlers from the illegal settlement outpost of Bat Ayin north of Hebron were caught parking a trailer packed with explosives outside an East Jerusalem girls' school on the Mount of Olives.

On both incidents, no one was charged.

Last March, a Jewish terrorist group claimed responsibility for planting a bomb in another Palestinian school in occupied East Jerusalem, which exploded injuring a teacher and four children. The Israeli government made no arrests for that attack which came a few weeks before the Bat Ayin group was captured.


ENDS

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