Israeli soldiers arrested two staff members, a teacher and a janitor, close to their school on Friday. The men work together with Cap Anamur on rebuilding a school for handicapped children.
During the occupation of southern Lebanon, the Israeli army destroyed the school. The entire surroundings are littered with debris and partly also with military equipment. For instance, there is a damaged Israeli tank left at the foot of the mountain, on which the school is located. Together with three others, the two staff members brought material to the construction site and started the removal works. In the process, the five men came close to the tank. This led to two of them being controlled and arrested by the Israeli army. The others were able to escape.
The school is located in Aita El Chaab, close to the Israeli border. According to several news agencies, the kidnapping of the two Israeli soldiers supposedly took place here, which was the reason for Israeli army’s attack on Lebanon. During the ceasefire, both parties acknowledged the border. Nevertheless, at least certain troops apparently disregard the agreement and push forward on Lebanese grounds. After the current incident, our project manager in Lebanon informed the UNFII. It is unclear, to which extent the UN exerted influence on the Israeli government. However, the two men were released the next day.
We want to give the children the possibility of going back to school as soon as possible. This is why we will not stop the construction works, even though the security situation is more dangerous than originally thought due to this incident. One can only hope that both war parties stick to their agreements and that the staff members can work undisturbed.