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Israel “Orphans” Al-Khalil Children Again

July 2, 2012

Tuesday, May 6. 2008
The Israeli Occupation Forces are shutting down two major Islamic charities in the West Bank, leaving thousands of Palestinian orphans in the city of Al-Khalil (Hebron) destitute.

The IOF ordered the closure and evacuation of the Islamic Charitable Society (ICS) and the Muslim Youth Society (MYS) on the unsubstantiated grounds that they support “terrorism”.

“Thousands of [people] will be the victims of the closure,” said Hani Al-Maqdasi, a teacher at an ICS-run school. “How will those orphans live and who will cater for them?”

The ICS provides shelter and care for more than 4,000 needy families and 300 orphans, according to the Popular Committee for Support of Orphans.

It also educates more than 7,000 students, aids an additional 4,000 students and employs more than 700 teachers, counsellors, and other support staff.

Foreign activists have blasted the closure orders as “brutal” and “savage”.

“Closure of schools, storming orphanages in the dead of night, destroying bakeries, confiscating food and clothes, throwing orphan kids onto the street…. What is happening here?,” asked Nago Humbert, Head of the Swiss Medecin du Mond Agency.

“What is the lasting image Israel is going to leave in the minds of these kids when they grow up?”

“How can we teach Palestinian children non-violence when Israel is doing to them all this, when Israeli soldiers are throwing kids from their orphanages onto the streets. Israel is destroying all our efforts.”

Paul Rehm, an American Christian peace activist, said the closure showed the callousness of the Israeli army against Palestinian children. “How can we really relate to these callous acts, confiscating school buses, raiding orphanages and terrorizing innocent children?”

The ICS has dismissed Israeli claims that they support “terrorist” groups.

Lawyer Abdul-Karim Farrah said every penny coming in and going out is meticulously monitored and tracked down by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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