Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday visited a high school in the Israeli Arab town of Jaljuliye, proclaiming that his office would redouble its efforts against school violence. “A terrible thing happened here,” Bennett said a day after a student was shot and badly injured in the school. “This crosses all red lines, it is an incident that is extremely disturbing and totally unacceptable.”
The 17-year-old student was shot by two masked individuals who were able to enter the school undisturbed Wednesday afternoon. The two walked into the student’s classroom and began shooting, and then walked out of the school. They are still at large. The student was taken for treatment at a Petach Tikvah hospital with serious injuries in his lower body. The motive is not clear, but Jaljuliye is known as a center of organized crime activity, police have said.
Bennett met with school administrators, and with students. “We will not accept violence in schools. As far as I am concerned this school is like any other school, including the school which my children attend. I consider each child here to be like my own. Just like I would not be prepared to accept violence in their schools, I am not prepared to accept violence here,” he said.
A school, he added, “must be a safe place for students and teachers. Parents need to be relaxed and reassured that their children are safe when they send them to school. Children face a lot of issues, and they look to us for answers and support. All of us, from the ministry to workers at this school, are here to help. You are not alone,” he told students.