Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Tue 31.5.11, Morning

Observers: 
Shlomit T. and Michal Tz. (reports)
31/05/2011
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Morning

Guests: Botina, Mahmoud, Irit, Etti, and Sisi, students from the Sapir College from Shlomit's course in Educational Philosophy 

Trans.: Brach B.A.

Meitar Crossing

There is no one at the Meitar crossing at this hour.

Route 60

No traffic. A zeppelin-like balloon floats in the air above Etniel.

Hebron

We spent most of the time visiting a school in Hebron so that the students could see the educational system in Hebron. We arrived at the Ibrahamiyyeh Boys' School, which is close to the Pharmacy Checkpoint and not far from the Cave of the Patriarchs. Salach, the principal, received us and explained that the school was celebrating its 100th anniversary and was established at the beginning of the last century. Students from the surrounding area, including Bethlehem and Beit Sahour attended the school. The students also slept at the school. Before that, the school building served as a courthouse and prison.

The school once included all grades but is now an elementary school and has classes up to the ninth grade. Salach himself studied there 27 years ago, and then returned as a teacher and principal. He is proud of the school and deeply attached to it.

The school has about 400 students who live in the H1 area. This means that they have to go through the magnometer at the Pharmacy checkpoint and walk from the beginning of Shu'hadah Street where the settlers live.  Pupils were sometimes harassed by settlers.

About a year ago a traumatic event occurred in which soldiers came to the school accompanied by settlers and claimed that pupils had thrown stones at settlers. After a while it became apparent that the settlers were responsible but they took two children to be questioned. The children were quickly released but the students (Shlomit's) felt the discrimination and anxiety.

Pictures and posters are hanging in the school hallway depicting what they are studying in English and geography and there are photos of the event in which Anat Cohen, the settler, appears. The students used the opportunity to ask questions about the people on the other side and to receive answers.

We were pleased to see that there were no detaineesinfo-icon in any of the checkpoints in the city.

South Mount Hebron – Hirbet Al-Tawani

We returned via Route 317 and decided to visit the school at Hirbet Tawani so that our guests could see the school near the settlement of Maon, but the school was closed since exams were over and the students had already been sent home.

We noticed archaeological excavations at the heart of the village. We went to find out about it. It turns out that the Antiquities Authority has decided to dig there. Now the person who lives there is on guard. He cannot prevent the digging but merely makes sure that they do not damage the family's property. His name is Ibrahim Amour. He himself lives in Yatta, but his brother Ahmad lives there and they also have two plots of olive trees. One of them is below, next to the road opposite the entrance to the village. Five years ago, settlers came one night and cut down all the trees - some of which were over 35 years old, and produced large yields of olives and olive oil. He received help from some good people who helped him revive the trees, but settlers came again and cut down a tree and destroyed the fence. He complained to the police, which came, took photos and then left again. He explained that Hanna Barag and Muhaned from had already visited him, trying to see how they could help him buy a tank to irrigate his olive trees, which are in dire need of water. We can only hope the "Yesh Din" (israeli NGO) will find a way around there, but will also try and help him contact the villagers' group and perhaps they can help.

It is difficult to see how the settlers have pipelines and lack nothing while the Palestinians are left without water in hopes that they will simply disappear. Evidently the Jews can get away with anything by making loopholes in the law.

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