Last week the football team of the Easton Cowboys and Cowgirls from Bristol visited Palestine-Israel for the second time. This tour, like first one, which took place three years ago, was arranged by the indispensable Hamed.
The Eastoners played with Palestinian teams from the cities of Hebron, Beit Lehem and Tul-Karem, but this time they also spent much time in south Mt. Hebron, hosted by the local people and the Villages Group. They stayed two days and two nights in Susiya, enjoying the wonderful hospitality of the Susiya Creative Center team- Fatima, Abed, Ibrahim, Widad, Nasser and David, along with the Abu-Jihad family.
In Umm al-Kheir the Eastoners experienced a most exciting game – they played on the local football field, located right next to the fence of the neighboring settlement of Carmel. The patrol soldier proved helpful on one occasion, throwing back the ball after it was kicked over the fence to the settlement area. Some settlers from Carmel were caught up in the excitement of the game and sat to watch it.
The Eastoners also found the time to visit Israel- in Tel-Aviv they met and played with the young members of Anarchists Against the Wall, and then they were taken to kibbutz Shoval, in the south of Israel, and hosted there by the Villages Group’s Erella, Dany and Ehud.
Many things are tools for relations among people. This time the football was the tool to bring people from Britain and people from South Mount Hebron in “Area C” of occupied Palestine to know each other and to benefit from this acquaintanceship both on the personal and the communal level.