Some call it Firing Zone 918, I call it Jinba, Al Fakheit, Isfey, al Fakheit, al Majaz, at Tabban, Jinba, Mirkez, Halaweh and Khallet Athaba’
On Saturday evening Kathy, Gabriel and I took a taxi to Yatta to spend the night with the family of Mufid, who usually drives people from Christian Peacemaker Teams, the International Solidarity Movement and The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel to visit schools in an area that Israel calls Firing Zone 918. We had fun with Mufid’s children, especially Leam
Her big sister Leal and brother Odai taught me the Arabic alphabet.
Then the next morning we went out with another driver (not sure why we didn’t go with Mufid) in a car that the Japanese government donated through Unicef to pick up kids to take them to Al-Fakheit School. These kids live in very tiny villages far away from Yatta, so they either had to move to Yatta to stay with relatives to go to school or just not go to school. But now they have schools in Jinba and Al-Fahkheit they can go to. CPT, ISM and EAPPI ride with the driver into the area these villages are because the Israeli military does not want these villages or schools to be there and causes problems for the drivers.
Sunday morning, they were stopping drivers ahead of us, and our driver was nervous. The soldier told all of us to get out of the car. The soldier started asking the driver questions in Hebrew, and the driver said he didn’t speak Hebrew. So they started talking to him REALLY LOUD in Hebrew. I wanted to encourage them to think about rainbows but Kathy said she didn’t think it was appropriate. Gabriel said that the car had diplomatic plates and that Unicef wanted us to accompany the car, so the soldiers finally let us through.
Then we picked up the children–seven for the first trip. The driver makes three trips to get them all to the school. While the children waited for the other children and the teachers to get Al Fakheit, they played soccer. Their ball didn’t have much air in it, and they built their goalposts out of these rocks, but they still had a lot of fun.
When the teachers got to the school, all the students line up according to what grade they were in and did exercises.
Then Kathy and Gabriel walked a long way to visit the school at Jinba that was built for younger children. Kathy fell on her face and hurt her knee.
The school at Jinba is smaller than the one at Al Fakheit, and only younger children go there.
I hope nothing bad happens to Jinba, Al Fakheit, Isfey, al Fakheit, al Majaz, at Tabban, Jinba, Mirkez, Halaweh and Khallet Athaba’. I hope that these schools an the homes and wells and caves and animal pens are not destroyed. I also hope that the Israeli military stops practicing bombing and shooting near these villages, because it’s scary for the children and animals. The Israeli government said one of the reasons that all the people here have to move (except for the Israelis living in the area) is that it is a nature reserve, and the wild animals and plants need to be protected, but how can you protect plants and animals if you’re bombing and shooting? I talked to a gazelle about it and she agreed with me that that’s just silly.
Well that’s all for now. Back to doing school patrol in Hebron tomorrow!
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