Jubbet al Dib - destruction of a school
The road has once more been paved and renovated in the southern area from the Meitar checkpoint to the Gush Etzion junction. Traffic was sparse and no military presence was observed.
At the Ein Arrub intersection and also at the Gush Etzion intersection north of it, military tanks are stationed in each of the four directions of the intersection, manned by soldiers and soldiers patrol along the intersection as well. In one of the posts stood a soldier with a weapon aimed at the road.
We turned to road 398 in the direction of Herodion between Nokdim and Tekoa, another new settlement, Eldad, which has grown and next to Israel's animal farm. All are very accessible, good roads lead to them and an Egged bus connects them to the center of the country. Continue a little further on the same road and reach Beit Ta'amer, an old and large village, many mulberry trees and it marks the end of civilization. From there, narrow and uneven dirt roads wind to the villages of the area.
We went to the village of Jubbat al Dib where, according to a post published by Yuval Avraham on 8.5.23, the army destroyed an elementary school.
Fatma, one of the fourteen women who organized the school, sent us a location on Waze but there is no mapping of the dirt roads in the area and if it weren't for her father who lives in Beit Ta'amer and drove his jeep ahead of us, we would never have got there.
The roads are dotted with the remains of charred tires as a reminder of the residents' helpless resistance to the vandal settlers who attack them. There is no longer any trace of the school, Fatma's father points to a rock slab with some bricks left on it. These are the remains of the school building (there is a picture of the school before and after) and the army systematically first collected the equipment, destroyed it and then collected and cleared the ruins - maybe what was collected will be used again for an outpost or for making a road which will bs used by the settlers.
In the village, in a beautiful and tidy stone house, Fatma and Fadiya Al Wahsh were waiting for us. Both of the women who took care of the school. They set up a table in front of us and told the story in a quiet voice:
The village in area A is very far from Beit Ta'amer, so the small children have difficulty getting to the schools in the official village. A few years ago, wealthy Palestinians donated part of their land to build a nearby school for the small children in several villages in the area. A building was erected, equipped with everything necessary and supervised by the Palestinian Authority. This is part of the organization of a unified organization of villagers in the area. 40 children from the age of 6 attended the school, 15 of them from the village we visited.
Now the school has been destroyed, peace organizations brought a tent instead and the army also confiscated it. The children tried to learn sitting on the the land between the trees and it didn't work. When we came, we saw the children running around the village idly. They haven't been studying for six weeks.
The women asked for reading matter, crayons and notebooks for the unemployed children - perhaps it is possible to help but it is very difficult to reach them.
Fatma's student daughter has to take an exam at Bethlehem University. Her father who brought us to the village takes her to the road, allowing her to arrive cleaner for the exam not covered by dust.. When there is no ride, she stays at home.
Fatma's and her neighbour Fadiya's house is at the edge of the village beyond the fields, where they once used to graze the sheep, a settler's farm has grown. They call the settler Abu Tabla and on the map the place is marked as Sde Barץ He sits on a hill, marked a pasture for him under it, fenced it in with a fence, and so he did as …..He has robbed his neighbours of their livelihood and now makes a good living. He has a water tank on the roof.
The Palestinians wanted to dig a water hole and for this purpose they mobilized equipment from international organizations. The equipment was confiscated on the first day of the excavation and only a scar remained in the ground, next to the fig tree.
12 families have already left the village due to the harassment of the settlers and the government, The village that made a living from dairy products reduced the number of sheep due to the reduction of grazing areas. The men work in building in Jerusalem and in the West Bank, and the women look after what is left in the village.
One struggle was successful: the solar collector farm built for them by the Comet ME organization was confiscated by the army. They organized themselves, went to court, hired Michael Sfard as their lawyer, and after 4 months the collectors were returned and they are decorating the slope. It was in 2017 and since then things have only got harder and life more arbitrary.
Above the village, Herodion towers, reminiscent of another era of a proud ruler, but no one learned the lesson of history.
We returned again through the difficult roads to the excellent occupation roads that allowed us to return home safely even if not really peacefully.