Humanitarian from Yelvertoft attacked in Palestine

Hannah Griffiths is a human rights monitor in Hebron, Palestine
Hannah Griffiths is a human rights monitor in Hebron, Palestine

A human rights monitor was chased and attacked by settlers in Palestine while working to achieve peace.

Hannah Griffiths, from Yelvertoft, has been hit, kicked and threatened while working with a team of international human rights defenders, who are there to monitor and report human rights violations against vulnerable communities in Hebron, Palestine.

The team also ensure safe access to education for children.

Hannah, who works with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), was chased down Shuhada Street – a street in the city centre of Hebron controlled by the Israeli authorities. She was hit and kicked by a female settler.

Hannah said: “The situation has got so much worse in the last few months. We are being targeted but it is worse for local Palestinians who tell us that they are scared. Teachers are scared to go to work, and children are scared to go to school.”

Speaking to the Advertiser in September when she left for the three-month mission, Hannah said: “Growing up I was fortunate to have a secure house and safely be able to go to school and university. In the West Bank there are movement restrictions which limit people’s access to basic essential services, such as schools, hospitals and workplaces.

“Many regularly face attacks from Israeli settlers, and have demolition and land confiscation orders on their property. Everyone deserves a safe and healthy life.

“It will be a challenging experience but one I’m looking forward to. Having internationals on hand has proven to stop violence and abuse so hopefully I can make a small difference.”

The United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities, Robert Piper, met with Hannah last week.

He said: “Protective presence organisations are on the front line of this work in the occupied Palestinian territory, embodying the support of the world community to the people of Hebron and defending the rights of Palestinian children, not least to a safe journey to and from school.

“They must be allowed to continue their work without violence, threats or retaliation.”