Education in Violence

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One of the things that have stood out during our stay in Palestine is the violent, intimidatory tactics of the Israeli army are commonplace and patently not restricted to those that even the most paranoid soldier could see as a threat. It seems that everyone we meet has a story to recount of humiliation at checkpoints, or attacks on themselves or their property, regardless of their age or gender. 

During our second day we were being shown around Bardala School, being introduced to a number of classes and asking pupils about their studies and their experiences under occupation, when we were introduced to a boy who had very recently been the victim of a shocking and unprovoked attack. His eye cut, blackened and bloodshot, the nine year old bravely recounted how he had been working on his family’s farm two night’s before when an army jeep drove up. Two soldiers got out and, raising their rifles, motioned to the boy to approach them. When he was stood in front of him unprovoked they struck him with their torches. As well as the injuries to his face he received a blow to the leg leaving a large green bruise. Working elsewhere on the farm, his 23 year old brother too far away to offer any help. More than likely, he wouldn’t be able to stop them, merely share the blows.

Unfortunately we have heard many stories with similar instances of unprovoked attacks like this which, just like the apartheid wall, are done not in the name of security, but are solely intent on intimidating the Palestinians and attempting to break their resolve. What has become evident though, is that the desire of Palestinians to regain their freedom and to live without any occupying army remains absolute and unbowed.


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