Israeli Army Raids Palestinian School, Refugee Camp

TeleSur, December 15, 2014
Israeli troops threw tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian students in the Burin village just north of Nablus, while killing one Palestine at a refugee camp.

Israeli forces staged two violent attacks in the Palestine occupied territories, firing grenades and tear gas directly at students in a northern village during a raid at school, while this Tuesday they shot and killed a Palestinian during another raid in a refugee camp in West Bank, according to local sources.

The Palestinians want to establish a state in East Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and Gaza, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war. U.S.-brokered peace talks between the sides broke down in April.

Witnesses said residents of Qalandia refugee camp threw stones at the Israeli soldiers that raided the site, and the man killed, Mahmoud Adwan, 20, was watching from the roof of his home when he was shot by the Israeli forces.

Israeli military officials justified the attack against the refugee camp, saying its troops, “came under attack in overnight operation in Qalandia,” according to spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner. “In the exchange one terrorist was killed and another wounded and detained.”

Clashes between Israel and Palestinians have increased in the past few months. Attacks by Palestinians have killed 11 Israelis, and 13 Palestinians have been killed, including several of the assailants.

A Palestinian minister was killed by Israeli border police during a peaceful march in the occupied West Bank last week, while three Israeli teens were killed by Palestinian militants in the West Bank in June and in a retribution attack in July, a Palestinian youth was burned to death by three Israelis. This last incident, was used by Tel Aviv as justification to launch a 50-day violent attack this Summer against Gaza, killing 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, while only 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel were killed.

On Monday, Israeli forces fired grenades directly at students at a school in Burin, a village north of Nablus. The students were lining up for class during the attack, prompting many of them to seek shelter inside the school, confirmed the activist from Rabbis for Human Rights.

The attack “spread terror among students, many of whom suffocated due to prolonged exposure to tear gas.”

Israeli authorities say that the attack was provoked by students throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and passing settlers.

The village of Burin has been the special focus of Israeli attacks. It is surrounded by three illegal settlements including Yitzhar and Har Brakha, inhabited by ultra-orthodox Jews. Burin has lost most of its land and its olive trees, and the army has frequently attacked their schools and mosques.

The International Middle East Media Center states that the Israeli army, “with the deliberate and reckless use of force,” has frequentlly attacked schools across the occupied West Bank, “in a serious violation of international law and students’ right to pursue education in a safe environment.”

Tensions have heightened in the West Bank after the recent murder of Minister Abu Ein at the hands of the Israelis.

The Global Coalition to protect Education from Attack affirms that:  “During situations of armed conflict, attacks on education may violate international humanitarian and criminal law and constitute war crimes (or crimes against humanity during war or peacetime) as set out in the 1907 Hague Regulations, the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and customary international humanitarian law.”

In some cases the settlers themselves have attacked the village school, as they did last February.