(JNi.media) A female eighth grader at a school in Jabal Mukaber, a predominantly Arab neighborhood in south-eastern Jerusalem, on Tuesday morning left her home, leaving behind a letter in which she wrote that she was going to become a shahida (martyr), NRG reported. Her father, who found the letter shortly thereafter, approached the principal of his daughter’s school and showed it to her. The principal contacted the Jerusalem Education Administration, who immediately formed joint teams of police with JEA staff, to search for the girl. The professional teams were joined by the father and by his daughter’s friends to help find it before she embarked on a terrorist act. Indeed, she was soon found near the Lions Gate and picked up for questioning.
This is not an isolated incident, according to NRG. In recent weeks, police sources have indicated that such cases are repeated frequently since the wave of terror has begun: a student leaves his home with the intention to carry out a terrorist attack, does not arrive at school, and then his parents and JEA professional staff go after him, to stop him from endangering himself and others.
At a hearing yesterday in the Knesset Education Committee, JEA deputy head Yoav Zimran said that in order to help parents recognize signs of distress in their children, JEA has issued a document detailing guidelines for identifying stress and pressure situations in children, and ways to cope with them. In addition, Zimran noted: “We issued a provision for schools throughout the city to hold talks about the importance of living together and about the Internet, where a lot of the students’ confusion is created.”
The letter, in Arabic, was printed in 20 thousand copies, and distributed to the parents of schoolchildren in eastern Jerusalem. It advised parents to maintain an ongoing watch on their children. “It’s very important that our relationship with our children not be overcome by our sense of helplessness. We must continue to be significant and strong in their eyes, and show that we can protect them and support them for the sake of their and our future. Intensive supervision over our children is critical to prevent the influence of the street, the media and the social networks. It is important in the near future to stay closer to our children even at the physical level and be more at home, and know every minute that our children are being looked after.”
According to NRG, about a third of the perpetrators of the latest terror wave were minors, most of them residents of eastern Jerusalem, often from normative families, who drew encouragement to carry out terrorist attacks from social networks and the incitement in the streets. An educator from eastern Jerusalem observed that many parents feel that they’ve lost control over their children, who call them cowards and consider the attacks to be acts of heroism. Since the letter has been circulated to parents two weeks ago, said Zimran, many parents have been able to spot abnormal symptoms and prevent a catastrophe to their children and families.