Christian Peacemaker Teams

Border Troubles

Students in Hebron, Palestine,
try to flush out the tear gas fumes from their eyes.
Credit: CPT Palestine

In Palestine, the excessive use of tear gas on schoolchildren in the H-2/Israeli-controlled section of Hebron was a primary concern this fall. As part of their routine work, CPT workers monitor the passage of students and teachers through Israeli-military controlled checkpoints. When boys throw stones in the direction of the checkpoints, sometimes the Border Police choose to ignore it – letting local shop owners and teachers intervene to prevent further escalation. However, in November and December last year, the Israeli military’s use of tear gas in response to the stone-throwing was so extensive it closed schools and sent some children to the hospital. Team members noted that certain Border Police seemed to take great pleasure in sending cascades of tear gas in the direction of the stone throwers, which imposed collective punishment on the hundreds of children, teachers, and neighbours in the vicinity who were not throwing stones.

Issue 38

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 38, Summer 2015, Animal Being.

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