South Hebron Hills, Simia

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Hagit Back (reporting and photographing); Natanya Ginsburg (translating)

Simia is located on Route 60 near the entrance to Samu'a and on the other side of the road. The villagers are old friends of ours and belong to the group of Palestinian Combatants for Peace. The children of the village,  about thirty in number,  had to cross the dangerous Route 60 on their way to school. The villagers decided to build a school in their village and this was   approved by the Palestinian Ministry of Education. Teachers from Samu'a, Dura, al Fawwar brought a Caravan. On Wednesday, Civil Administration officials confiscated and destroyed the caravan (see Hagit Sar Shalom's report).

The Palestinians decided to start the struggle of "Sumud", to build tents for the children who would learn in this cold. Yesterday at midnight the soldiers arrived and took more equipment, chairs and tables.

When we were there, an army jeep came and took pictures of what was going on and promised they would return.

The village of Simia is in Area C, which means that the Civil Administration has to give its  approval. Only that it never gives approval. The land on which the school was built is the private prpperty of F. that donated the area.

The Palestinian Ministry of Education came for a solidarity visit.

I spoke with Knesset Member Musi Raz, who promised to follow up and also to Yotam Berger, Haaretz's correspondent, and both of them said that there was nothing that could be (according to the laws of occupation).

In the pictures below:

The destroyed building.
The tents which are used for the classed.

The army returns to visit.

We did not go on to Hebron. The murder yesterday at Ofra lies heavy on the heart.

The demolished structure
The tents that are used as class rooms
The army comes to visit
A class room in the tent