South Mount Hebron: Tuba children do not go to school for fear of Maon settlers

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Mira Balaban (report), Mohammad D. (photo) 

Meitar Checkpoint

We saw many trucks loaded with rocks and quarry products. Perhaps from the Kefar Gil’adi quarries near Dahariya. We have reported this in the past. Here.


Road 60

Before we get to where Zanuta village used to ne, Mohammad waves to a Palestinian standing on the Teme-Omarim side, near the road. This is Ahmad Marawiya who comes to water the sheep at the well. He lives below Tene-Omarim between the two farms, and suffers unceasing harassment.

The entrance to Zanuta from the east of the road is fenced off. This is new! Must be the work of the settlers of Havat Meitarim. One can see the remains of the school house from the road.


Road 317

Many new barriers have been erected.  They are quite noticeable as the soil is fresh. The dirt track leading from A-Tawane junction to Yatta, too, is blocked with new dirt piles.



We met Nasser Adara and Salem. Two Italian peace activists from Florence and Torino joined, too. They have been here for a week already. Never heard of MachsomWatch.

We sat below Nasser’s house. The village spread beneath us. A pastoral illusion. On the high hill opposite us we see the woods, hiding Havat Maon that has been threatening A-Tawane for over 20 years. Nasser points to a structure (probably a caravan) on a nearby hill, to the south. This is an expansion of Hanat Maon. We all know that pirate ranches do not depend on the law for confirmation.

Nasser has been prevented from entering Israel for about five years, because of complaints against him by the colonists of Havat Maon. Previously he worked in many places inside Israel. We reminisced about the days when Saber, former head of the village, who advanced the place from a cluster of caves to a village with electricity, water, a school with a yard, a circular road inside the village. Everything requiring unceasing struggles with the ‘security’ authorities. Nasser and Salem send their especially warm regards to Hagit.

Now livelihood is found only in grazing livestock. But it’s a problem: they may not graze on the opposite slope, going up from the Havat Maon woods. South-east is another problematic direction with the sheep, for the colonists from the expanding Havat Maon stop them. There is much violence.

Nasser and Salem speak with great satisfaction about the festive projection held in the village of the film No Other Land made by Basel Adara, Hamdam Bilal, Yuval Avraham and Rachel Shor. Hundreds were invited. Basel was not there. He was supposed to get to Paris to promote the film but his French visa was not approved. He made it to Jordan and had to return. Apparently, a Palestinian living in the West Bank who wishes to go abroad needs the okay of the Palestinian Authority, Israel, and the Israeli army.


The saga of military escort for Tuba children to school in A-Tawane

We asked about the Tuba children - do they get to school accompanied by the army? We were told that since the war began, the army called off its accompaniment of the children to protect them from the Havat Maon colonists. Because of the present expansion of Havat Maon, the Tuba children can no longer walk the longer way around the woods and avoid the Maon cowsheds. Namely, as long as war continues in the south, the Tuba children do not go to school! Find the connection... Reminder: this accompaniment was ruled following a request by members of MachsomWatch to the Knesset Committee on Child Welfare in 2004.

This request was in collaboration with Members of Knesset Avshalom Vilan, Michael Malchior and Yaacov Margi. The claim was that Tuba school children cannot reach their school because their route passes the cowsheds of Maon colony, where they and their civilian accompaniers are attacked by the colonists, assuming that the children are spying on the colony. The ruling on military accompaniment results from the Convention for the Welfare of Children, according to which every child has a right to education. This right, then, has been violated ever since the beginning of the war.

We should check whether anyone has the mental space to deal with this issue. Perhaps together with UN representatives?