Umm Tuba – children need protection from settlers on their way to school in At-Tuwani

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Smadar (reporting) and Muhammad. Editor: Mira  Balaban; Translator: Natanya
א-תוואני - נאסר מסיע ילדים מכפרים שכנים לבית הספר

Meitar crossing, In the parking lots on both sides, there is much pressure.


We came because Nasser Adra had asked us to.

Today the school year started in the Palestinian Authority. The At-Tuwani

school includes grades from 1st to 12th, and serves most of the surrounding villages.

Nasser transports students from the nearby villages: Khalet al-Daba, al-Rakiz, al-Mufaqara.

The children of Susiya only learn in from the sixth grade. Until the 5th grade they study at Susiya's school. At-Tuwani

From the village of Umm-Tuba, the children walk every day to the At-Tuwani school, accompanied by the army or the police and in both directions. Activists who stay in the village try to join in order to protect the children from the settlers of Maon: the road passes between the grove where the criminals from Havat Maon live, and the chicken coops  of the Maon settlement. Criminals of Havat Maon have been claiming for years that Umm-Tuba children are watching the cages and are a security risk, so they attack them when they pass by the coops. The military's support has been working for almost twenty years, and it started with an appeal by MachsomWatch members, Hagit Back and Hanna Barag, to the Knesset Committee on behalf of the right of the children of Umm-Tuba who are also entitled to education.

From the other villages there is a shuttle bus to the At-Tuwani school, and children are picked up from each village.

Bassel Adra, Nasser's son, a journalist in the newspaper Siha Mekomit ( local conversation) and a Palestinian activist, describes how difficult these times are since the current government came into power. There are non-stop abuses by the neighbouring settlers, with the backing of the army. The army patrols the village, but recently there has been no activity beyond that. There is no protecton from them.


On the way to Susiya, near Shi'b al-Butum, Israel roadvworkers are engaged in the maintenance of the lighting along the roads on the way to Susiya.

At the home of Wadha, her son, Zain, takes down sacks of food for the flock, as an addition to the pasture. Wadha says that the soldiers occasionally make a show of presence in Susiya, but nothing more than that.  

We are told that two days ago, settlers arrived in the lands of Hamdan who is a Palestinian activist with Nasser Nawaja’. But residents of the village organized themselves and managed to evict the settlers.

Every visit it's harder to breathe because of the evil and violence of the settlers which only increases.