On the evening of Sunday April 16th, students playing football at the schoolyard in Anata were subject to a brutal attack by Occupation Forces. Five children were injured as Soldiers went on the rampage, breaking the feet of one student with their military jeeps. Today clashes broke out as Soldiers entered the school to arrest students. Meanwhile, death threats against 13 students have left the community living in constant fear.
The attack occurred when Occupation Forces stationed at the Apartheid Wall, immediately behind the school, started firing tear gas and sound bombs at the students playing football. The area quickly became clouded from the smoke of the tear gas. A total of 4 students fainted and needed to be rushed to the hospital.
***image2***Students ran from the school into the village, pursued by 4 military jeeps. Chasing the children through the gates of the school, and into the main square in Anata, the attack culminated with horrific injuries to Abd as-Salam Salameh. Abd, 13 years old, had both of his feet broken as a jeep ran him down.
Abd recounts: âWe tried to escape from the tear gas and the noise of the sound bombs. Then we saw jeeps coming in front of the school. We were all running away. I saw the jeeps behind us and changed direction. The jeep was following me very fast. I ran into a dead corner. The jeep came closer, closer and closer and hit me. Finally, the jeepâs wheels ran over my feet.
âI fell to the ground. The soldiers came out of the jeep. I didnât feel anything, I just tried to escape but I realized I couldnât walk and fell down again.â
When Abdâs father heard about the attack he ran to the site. The officer of the jeep that injured his son told him: âI ran over your son and follow him to the hospital. I am now satisfied because he will never walk again. I will celebrate today.â
People in the village are also reporting that Soldiers spread word that they have a list of 13 students from Anata School that are targeting to be killed. Abd as-Salam is one of them. His parents opted to take him away from the hospital, immediately after all emergency care was performed, fearing Occupation Forces would come and abduct him.
***image3***Abdâs father continues: âWhat is the victory of this officer after he broke my sonâs feet? Usually, I donât allow my kids to go to demonstrations and to throw stones. But when I saw this officer and the anger against the children, I started to believe my son is a real freedom fighter.
Today clashes broke out at the school as Soldiers entered to arrest students from a list they had compiled. Teachers reacted by closing classroom doors and formed a physical barrier between the Soldiers and the students being targeted. Protecting the children, the staff walked with them out of the school grounds and to more immediate safety away from the Occupation Forces. At least one member of staff was injured after being punched to the face.
The Occupation wants to escalate the situation and break the determination of students and staff to continue education in the school, which is severely affected by the Apartheid Wall. The latest attack reveals the physical violence and brutality they are willing to unleash in order to force Anataâs school to shut.
Attacks on the school have continued without interruption since the beginning of this school year. Since last August, the Apartheid Wall has run right through the middle of the schoolyard.
Anata has always been part of Jerusalemâs urban set up, but the Wall and the settler bypass roads leave the community ghettoised. The Wall â which isolates Anata from its land â facilitates further settlement expansion to make life even more hellish for this Palestinian community. The attacks on Anata and its isolation are part of the wider Occupation project to define “final borders” and drive Palestinians out of their land and capital. The aim is to completely Judaize Jerusalem whilst implementing measures to make life impossible for Palestinians living outside the 48% of the West Bank being sealed into Bantustans.