Palestinian Jordan Valley (Visiting friends)

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Nurit Popper, Sharon Gamzu, Daphne Banai (a whole day)

Sara Ka’abana Returns Home

Sara was hospitalized for over a month, unconscious, between life and death. This whole time her husband Odeh was mourning their daughter Hana, less than 2-months old when she died, and mourning Sara as well, until she came to. Yesterday, back home nearly 2 months after the accident, the entire village was festive. The girls in fancy dress, the men slaughtered a sheep in her honor. Sara sat aside on a mat all the while, her hands clasped in her empty lap, her almond eyes pools of sadness, telling the whole story: how the Israeli came twice during this hot summer and demolished their home, how an officer of the occupation army came on August 4 and told them that if he finds them there on the morrow he will also confiscated their tractor (which brings the family its water!) as well as all that remains of their belongings. How they rose in the night and took to the road to build their home elsewhere, and how an Israeli truck hit them in the dark, wounding the 7 family members, and ending the life of little Hana, only 50 days-old. This is just one of the many stories of a cruel occupation and an unforgiveable expulsion.

10:00 a.m.

At Hamra junction we encountered a long waiting line of cars coming from the Nablus direction, proof that at Hamra Checkpoint, about 500 meters away, many cars were detained for a long time and only now they’ve been let through.

Indeed, arriving at the checkpoint we saw 3 soldiers stopping cars and inspecting them. 3 cars were delayed for some minutes and then the soldiers folded up the spine they’d laid on the road earlier to prevent use of the other lane, and lifted the barrier. While we stopped there an Israeli passed us on the right, on the road’s shoulder, and hostilely asked us what we were doing there. When we said this was none of his business, he said “I know who you are”, and we retorted that so we do.

On our way, about 70 huge motorcycles overtook us. Has the Palestinian Jordan Valley turned into Israeli motorcycles’ race track?

We visited the family in Ras Al Ahmar whose encampment was demolished 3 months ago, and whose solar panels were destroyed a month ago. Tzvia is raising money to help 2 of the older girls to study nursing. They have missed the current semester which began on September1, but were happy to hear that we shall help and they will register immediately for the next term, beginning January 1, 2020.

Atouf fields are now being sown and we saw many workers.

We visited Yusef and Najia, and Ashraf and Rima. Rima and Ashraf’s 6-year old daughter has begun first grade and is having a hard time. How could she not? Children here grow up in a desert with no stimuli, no games, and except for a ball sometimes brought by Israelis they have never seen a toy. They have not drawn, never been socialized, never practiced any kind of learning skills. How can they begin first grade? There is not a school nor kindergartens in the entire area. About half an hour away by car, at En Al Bida, there is a school and transport is provided by the PA, but none for pre-schoolers. So they sit at home until they begin first grade.