A simple, quiet act of gathering the children speaks volumes.
By Christian Peacemakers Teams Palestine | Apr 19, 2019
…she had to bring her kids back to school and back to safety.
We were monitoring the Salaymeh checkpoint on a cold morning. Two soldiers, fully armed and wearing masks, walked past the checkpoint and went up on the roof of an adjoining building. As children started making their way to school, the two soldiers came down and started moving towards the school area. Ofer, a settler who shows up daily at the checkpoint to harass children and human rights monitors, made his daily appearance. Suddenly 3 sound grenades were thrown close to a small group of boys that had gathered outside the school. Within seconds children started throwing stones and throwing back the sound grenade canisters at the soldiers. Things quickly escalated. School teachers and school principals were out on the streets. Then, to everyone’s surprise, live ammunition was fired, 5 shots were fired in the air. I could hear teachers and community members shouting in disbelief saying “ They have never fired live ammunition before”. One teacher had videotaped the scene and was replaying the video as proof that live ammunition was fired.
In the midst of teachers and community members arguing about what steps need to be taken to diffuse the situation, the principal, the only woman in the crowd, of the boy’s elementary school made her way to the growing crowd of boys and started bringing her students back to school one by one. She walked past the soldiers, past the sea of men debating and arguing and gently summoned her students. She knew what she had to do; she had to bring her kids back to school and back to safety.