Plastic toy of mass destruction (Unicorn only for size comparison and cuteness factor)
Plastic toy of mass destruction (Unicorn only for size comparison and cuteness factor)

Sometimes people make an elephant out of a mosquito. And sometimes soldiers make a terrorist attack out of a thrown piece of plastic by primary school-kids. And because this is even for the conditions here in Hebron a very long haul, they try to change this plastic toy to a beer bottle. To get this whole absurdity you have to know that Hebron is a deeply conservative city where there is no legal way to buy alcohol. Especially not for primary school kids. But lets start from the beginning.

On our regular morning patrol we got a call that 10 or more soldiers entered the Ibrahimi school in the H2 area. The H2 area is the Israeli controlled area of Hebron. So there is no Palestinian authority and all issues get resolved by the military. In theory there is the Israeli police should be responsible for this area, but they could not care less about Palestinian issues. But I get side tracked.

So I arrived at the spot and the usual suspects like CPT (Christian Peacemaker Team) and ISM (International Solidarity Movement) were already there. The principal explained to us that right before the school bell rung and the kids hat to go to their class rooms a group of about 10 soldiers entered the school and claimed that school kids had thrown “things” on them out of the school building. Asking for proofs for this claim the military presented him shattered pieces of a plastic toy. After the principal called the DCO (District Coordination Office) even the military commander of this area showed up and threatened to close this school if this happens again. Just to remind you: we are still talking about that allegedly primary school kids threw a plastic toy in the direction of fully armed and armored soldiers.

Soldier and military commander talking with principal outside of school.
Soldier and military commander talking with principal outside of school.

So far, so ridiculous. But now the story gets an even better twist. We got asked to join the principal for another discussion with the soldiers at the nearby checkpoint. Apparently somebody in the military took a few seconds to think and came to the conclusion that maybe just a few pieces of plastic wont account as an attack. If they only they only would have thought a few seconds more, because the decided to provide a new evidence: a broken beer bottle, at least 30 meters from the school away. So if this would be true than there are a lot of reasons not to punish this kid but to give it a scholarship for a sports school. Throwing a glass bottle 30 meters is quite an athletic achievement given this young age. And I really would like to get to know this kid, because I was not able to find an alcoholic beverage in this city until now. It might could give me some useful tips.

Principal disputing the beer bottle version as slightly unrealistic.
Principal disputing the beer bottle version as slightly unrealistic.

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