Close Down Orphanages? - You Must Be Joking

 

In the centre of Hebron one is confronted by a huge poster put up by the council to draw attention to the threatened closure of orphanages and schools by the Israeli army.

 

On 6th March, Israeli Occupation Forces raided a warehouse, two bakeries, and small shops belonging to the Islamic Charitable Society, removing 15 (fifteen) lorry loads of equipment and stores. These included two large industrial deep freezes containing meat gifted during Ramadan to feed orphans in the coming months, other food, clothing, school supplies and two school buses. The value of the things seized was $300,000.

 

The Israeli military ordered that two orphanages caring for 130 boys and 110 girls, and three schools with a total of 1700 pupils, all run by the Society, were to be 

Poster about threat of closure of orphanages and schools by the Israeli Occupation Forces.  The organization being targeted, the Islamic Charitable Society, provides schools for 7000 children, looks after 4000 orphans and helps 5000 needy families in and around Hebron, impoverished by the occupation.

evacuated by 7th April. Relatives of the orphans, members of the Christian Peacemaker Team based here and other internationals slept with the children in one of the orphanages on the night of the 6th. Fortunately the Israeli army did not come that night.

 

On the 7th the Israeli High Court ordered the Israeli military to delay closure of the schools and orphanages until they provide justification for doing so. However, on the night of 14th April, soldiers entered one of the bakeries which provides bread for the orphanages, wrecked an oven and took away display cases, refrigerators, and other equipment.

 

The Israeli Occupation Forces claim that funds given to the Islamic Charitable Society are being passed to Hamas and used for terrorist activities. In fact the Society is a well respected organization dating back to 1962, which is supported by the local community and donors in Europe, the US and the Middle East. I have been told that the independently audited accounts, which are published and made available to the Israelis, show that the income is used for the purposes for which it has been donated. 

 

A member of staff of the boys’ orphanage showed a friend and me round with justified pride

The Israeli army claims that the children the charity cares for are being indoctrinated against Zionism. However, the curriculum followed in the schools is the same as in Palestinian state schools. According to an international, pupils and teachers deny that there is indoctrination or that pupils are taught to hate Jews. It is the behaviour of Jewish Israelis that causes people to hate them.

 

If only the heartless campaign against this valued Palestinian charity with an untarnished reputation, or the recent attack on El-Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital doing wonderful work in Gaza , were exceptional events.

Unfortunately they are but two examples of Zionism’s relentless attempts to destroy Palestinian society. But no crime is too despicable for Zionism to stoop to. Here is the list for the 24 hours to 8 am on 16th April:

 

3 air strikes – 14 attacks – 37 raids – 4 beatings – 5 dead – 17 injuries – 21 taken prisoner – 24 detained – 103 restrictions  of movement

Hospital & school shelled & damaged

Two houses destroyed – one by bulldozer, the other shelled by tanks

Resistance activist murdered in targeted missile strike

Beached fishing boats under Israeli Navy fire

Extensive sabotage of crops & farmland

Home invasion – man beaten, his home vandalised

Man beaten and hospitalised by annexation Wall gate troops

Two 17-year-olds abducted by Israel soldiers

Businesses, charities & study centre plundered

Home invasions in 11 towns, villages and refugee camps

 

Details of these and the other horrific crimes being committed every day by the Israeli military and settlers against Palestinians can be found at www.sapienspromise.org/modules/news

 

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