Khashem al-Karm – demolition order to the school

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Muhammad and Ariela (photographing and reporting); Translator: Natanya
אום אל ח'יר - האנדרטה לזכרו של סולימאן
ח'אשם אל דארג' - בגן הודא

At the entrance to the Meitar checkpoint there is a massive police presence but there were no delays at the checkpoint. The routine there continues. The parking lot on the Palestinian side is full and also a bus that brought families of detaineesinfo-icon to visit is waiting for their return from the prison.

We drove on road 317 to Huda’s kindergarten which is located in Khashem-al-Daraj. The bus stop at the entrance to the Carmel settlement was secured by soldiers. Further down the road, a military ambulance was standing in front of Khashem-al Daraj, perhaps to show presence.

The road passes by the Umm al-Kheir cemetery, and at the entrance there is a tomb stone in memory of Suleiman al-Had'alin, Eid's father, who was killed a year ago in clashes with the police during the confiscation of vehicles and who was run over by the tow truck which came to evacuate the vehicles.

We arrived at the Huda’s kindergarten. It's been a long time since I visited the place and the children I knew are already in school and all the children who are in kindergarten today have never met me. A few seconds of suspicion passed until their eyes and the smiles lit up. Only one little girl, the youngest girl in the kindergarten, I think, not yet three years old, burst into heartbreaking tears every time she saw me. I thought, what did she experience, this is her reaction to my appearance, of an Israeli. And I also thought about the 13-year-old boy who took a gun and shot to kill Israelis. What did he experience so that at the age of 13, instead of doing what children his age in a normal world do, he takes a gun and goes to kill. I felt guilty.

We were loaded with packages that Smadar had collected and I also brought panda paints and blocks for drawing.

On the way, Muhammad bought sweets and juice for the children and the children were overjoyed with the refreshments which we had brought and ate and drank with great joy.

After the meal Huda took the children to the kindergarten and they sang. They spoke to me in English, and also blessed  me and then when we parted ,they sent me air kisses.

In a conversation with Huda, she asked for a few things. A big pot to cook the kids a hot meal before they go home and also an electric kettle. In the kitchen they cook on gas and she needs money to replace the gas cylinder and cannot ask for money from the parents who are unable to pay. She also asked for colours and pages. We will try to go back to the garden in the near future with the necessary equipment.

I had not travelled on the road for a long time and I felt something strange and then I realized, electricity poles that provide electricity to Palestinian villages and also a water pipe that had not  been  destroyed by settlers.

But to balance this development, the school in the area on the road, Khashem El Karm, received a demolition order.