EAPPI HAS MAINTAINED A ROUND-THE-CLOCK PRESENCE IN YANOUN SINCE EARLY 2003. THE PRESENCE OF ‘INTERNATIONALS’ AS WITNESSES TO DOCUMENT AND RECORD INCIDENTS HAS HELPED TO DETER SETTLER ATTACKS BUT THE SITUATION REMAINS VOLATILE.
Our regular evening walks are one of the Yanoun teams most pleasant tasks. We gladly undertake this hour and a half long trip, it is a delight to ramble down the old road between Upper and Lower Yanoun and then to turn East towards overlooking the Jordan Valley. Continue reading →
In Latin America, we have a special word to describe the earth, land and sea. The bounty it produces and all of our connection to it. The word is: “Pachamama”. Separate from the English term Mother Nature, the word is derived from the ancient languages of Aymara and Quechua that are native to Latin America. With “Pacha” meaning cosmos, universe, time, space and earth and “mama’ meaning mother – Pachamama represents the full embodiment of the planet and how all of us, and our survival, are inextricably linked to it.
This blog shares the recent history of a small Bedouin Hamlet, Al Hadidya, in the northern Jordan Valley. The majority of the Jordan Valley is in Area C, and the Israeli government has both civil and security authority over the 60,000 Palestinians living there. Al Hadidya is located near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ro’i and is built on land leased from the residents of Tamoun and Tubas. However,while Ro’i thrives, Al Hadidya’s residents struggles to meet even their most basic needs. The story of this village, like so many other Area C communities, is one of demolitions and displacement.
The as-Sawiyah al-Lubban School, in Nablus is just one of many schools in Palestine. It is one school of many to which students with school bags on their backs walk, run and bike every day. Some students do some last minute studying with their eyes focused on the pages of their books while walking the last hundred meters along Road 60, the main artery of the central West Bank, which runs outside the gates of the school.
12.10.15. Jordan Valley, Humsa. Mahmod with the stop work orders issued to him by the Israeli authorities. Photo EAPPI/J. Puukki
This is Mahmod. He lives in a herding community in the north of the Jordan Valley. Mahmod lives with his family of eight, this includes two sons, two daughters, his daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. The family earns their livelihood by herding sheep and keeping other animals, such as chickens. They used to live in a concrete house, which provided a living space for the family and a shelter for their animals. In October 2014 the family received a “stop work order” from the Israeli authorities despite having finished their home three years before. Because they failed to “stop the construction” on a home that was already completed, their home was demolished in August 2015 by the Israeli military.
On the 31st of July, 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsheh was burned to death in a fatal arson attack on his family home in the Northern West Bank village of Duma. Israelis from a nearby settlement are believed to be behind the attack which saw two Palestinian homes torched by petrol bombs. Ali’s parents and 4-year-old brother survived the attack but were taken to the hospital in a critical condition. Sadly on the 8th of August Saad, Ali’s father, died from third degree burns just one week after his son. Two members of the family are still in a critical condition. The family living in the second house were not at home when the attack happened.
31.07.15 Nablus, Duma. Leaflet dedicated to Ali distributed during funeral ceremony, Photo EAPPI / J. Burkhalter
The exams period during primary and secondary school is a very stressful period to all children and teenagers, no matter if they live in Germany, South Africa or in Uruguay. For Palestinian students, however, this is an extra stressful period of the year.
The Headmaster of As Sawiya School talks to soldiers as they prevented children from getting to school on 3 December 2014. Photo EAPPI/A. Tesche.
Israeli soldiers and authrities outside As Sawiya School. Photo EAPPI/A, Tesche.
During exam periods, the Israeli army often increases their presence in and around Palestinian schools. Hyped-up by their encounters with the soldiers, it is extremely difficult for students to concentrate on their studies in the classroom.
Soldiers lay down while outside As Sawiya School. Photo EAPPI/B. Viney-Wood.
Soldier light up a cigarette while outside As Sawiya School. Photo EAPPI/B. Viney-Wood.
EAPPI does school runs as part of its Access to Education initiative, which aims to guarantee children’s access to education despite the hardships of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. The aim of the school runs is to offer protective presence to children on their way to and from school and monitor human rights violations against the children.
On 3 December, we witnessed first-hand the difficulties of going to school for Palestinian children during exam periods. On this day, Israeli soldiers prevent children and teachers from getting to school. We arrived on the scene at 7:40 am and stayed until all were allowed to enter school around 8:15 am.
When asked why they closed the school, soldiers responded that there had been stone throwing the day before. The headmaster of the school informed us, however, that he was at school the previous day until 2pm and there had been no stone throwing.
Israeli soldiers watch as boys walk to As sawiya school. Photo EAPPI/R. Viney-Wood.
Boys wait to get to As Sawiya school. Photo EAPPI/R. Viney-Wood.
School girls ask why they are not allowed to go to As Sawiya school. Photo EAPPI/R. Viney-Wood.
Israeli soldiers walk towards As Sawiya school. Israeli soldiers are frequently present as children go to and from school in As Sawiya. During exam time, they increase their presence. Photo EAPPI/R. Viney-Wood.
Female teachers ask soldiers why they are not allowed to go to As Sawiya school. Photo EAPPI/R. Viney-Wood.