A School wasn’t Demolished Yesterday
I don’t know of a better wake up remedy than a phone call saying, “The army is about to demolish something in the firing zone can you get here?” at 6am. Well, another CPTer and I got ready to go in about 5 minutes and were out the door.
We don’t have a car, so our first task was procuring a cab driver who knew his way around the small villages south of Hebron. The taxi drivers here mostly just drive people up and down the main road of Hebron, so this task took some time. Adding to the confusion was the fact that the army kept moving and changing directions. Every 5 minutes I would get a call from a member of the Doves (The NGO headquartered just outside the firing zone and who called us earlier) giving a different name of a village the soldiers were headed to. Finally we got a ‘service’ (big taxi) to take us to the Doves headquarters in the village of At-Tuwani, and they got us a driver to take us part of the rest of the way to the village. The roads are far too rough to get a ride the whole way, so we trekked about a mile to the village.
We got to the village and the first thing we saw was three Palestinian men sitting in front of the school. The bulldozer and its 10 vehicle entourage were a ways down the hill. I caught one of the Doves and asked what was up. We had a meeting with them two days before where they informed us that the courts had delayed any action in the firing zone until December 16. Apparently the army didn’t get the memo. Seriously, that was the Doves story. When the Doves got there they informed the soldiers about the court order, then called the lawyers to corroborate their account. After the soldiers made some calls of their own they backed off.
We had arrived just as the army was leaving. The Doves and I followed the caravan of destructive vehicles to make sure it didn’t take a detour into another village. It didn’t. Then I met back up with my teammate who had stayed behind in the village, and we got a very bumpy tractor ride back to the village of At-Tuwani where we could get a ride home. Although I had practically nothing to do with it, it was a successful day.
Unfortunately today we got a similar call from the Doves. This time the demolitions were just outside of the firing zone. The Doves said there wasn’t much we could do, so we should stay here and they would keep us informed.
That day one village had a small home and sheep pen demolished, and At-Tuwani had a house and a well demolished. (I could write pages about Israel’s inhuman denial of water to Palestinians, or you can just look at this infographic). The well actually had a stop demolition order on it, as the school did the day before, but this was ignored. The latest call I got from the Doves said that the army had left and the people had started rebuilding what they could. This is a part of life they have gotten used to.
I am trying to think of a good ending to this post. Some profound lesson to be learned, or some sign of hope showing through what happened. None come to mind, so I’ll leave you with this. A school wasn’t demolished yesterday, and, God willing, won’t be demolished tomorrow.