Tag Archives: Right to Education

Report From A Massafer Yatta School – South Hebron Hills 7.3.2010

In a joint initiative of the Village Group and Machsom Watch, we went this Sunday (7.3) on a tour to Massafer Yatta – the heart of the cave dwellers area in South Hebron Hills.

Our guides were Hamed from Hebron and Ezra from Taayush. As you may remember from a previous report, the Massafer villages have been under heavy pressure from the Israeli military:

  • Pressure from a lot of dirt barriers along the main passageways between the Massafer villages;
  • likewise from the unceasing pursuit of military vehicles after Palestinian employment seekers who come from the Hebron area and who move along these paths in hope of finding work in the towns of south Israel.

During our tour, the military surprisingly showed no sign of their presence, seemingly honoring  the first appearance of women from MachsomWatch in the area. This fact was well exploited by the continuous movement of employment seekers’ Subaru cars – a phenomenon that is presently a burden for the permanent residents of Massafer.

The barriers themselves were open – a sign that  the struggle led by attorney Limor Yehuda from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel to keep them open is meanwhile yielding fruit. However, the dirt road used as a main passage way in this area is in rather a bad state and in some places (as can be seen in the attached photographs) is almost impassable even in a jeep.

During the tour we arrived at a primary school (grades 1-4, 42 students), that opened this year at the cave dwellers village of Fachit in the heart of the Masafer area. The photographs we took tell it all: Over and above the good intentions of the aid organizations that enabled the opening of this school (two major International organizations – Care International and the Red Cross, and a local one – Health Work Committees), the infrastructure they established: several tents, chairs and blackboards and toilets – are extremely  minimal and lacking. At the moment, about five months after the opening, weather conditions have made the place completely  unusable.

It is not an exaggeration to say that no other school in our region (i.e. the entire Middle East) operates under such difficult conditions.


And, nonetheless, students continue to arrive (although not when we were there) by means of the vehicle recently bought with donations we managed to get.

We thank Michal and Nurit from Machsom Watch South who came on the tour and hope that from now on the Massafer area will remain permanently on the map for the monitoring tours by this important organization.

Ehud Krinis

South Mt. Hebron Students- Middle of the Year Report

Dear friends and supporters,

As we near the end of the school year’s first semester and registration for its second semester, we met the South Hebron Hills students whom we assist in their academic studies. We are currently supporting fourteen students from five localities in this area: Susya, Mufaqara, Tuba, Tuwane and Um Al Kheir. Our conversations with the students were instructive regarding their progress, the subjects they are engaged in and their general satisfaction from their work. The assistance received from the donors, headed by the American US Omen organization, enables these students – who have previously only been able to participate in a small number of academic courses each semester and sometimes even forced to disrupt their studies – to now register for courses of a sufficient scope to complete their degree within a reasonable period of four-five years. Most of the students whom we support are either at the beginning or middle phases of their studies. Three of them are more advanced, and we hope they will manage to complete their studies in the current school year, or the next one. Thirteen of the fourteen students are studying at the Jerusalem Open University (Al Quds al Maftuha) Yatta Extension, the nearest university to their villages and the least expensive in tuition. Another student studies at Al Aroub College.

The fields of study are varied and vast: Geography, English, economics, accounting, mathematics, Arabic, religion, computers, social work, life science and social science. In our conversations with them, the students expressed their satisfaction with their own studies, their grattitude to the donors abroad and to us, and their hope that we shall be able to maintain this assistance until they successfully complete their course of studies. We wish the students succes in their term final exminations and a fruitful continuation of their academic pursuit.

Ehud Krinis

The Villages Group

South Mt. Hebron School Transportation Problems – and 2008/9 Plan

Dear friends and supporters,

During the last two years we focused our efforts in confronting the school transportation problems of some cave dwellers communities in south Mt. Hebron including Susya and Tuwani. In the meanwhile, the school transportation problems of neighboring communities such as Imneizel and Abu Qbeita were much intensified, as a result of the erecting of the so called ‘security barrier’, which is literally tearing apart these communities.

It’s a great shame that the big players on the ground including the Palestinian Authority, the international agencies and (almost needless to say) the Israeli occupation authorities are avoiding helping these poor and neglecting communities in facilitating the basic right of children education. In their despair the children’s parents are turning to us, in we in turn see no other choice but approaching you with the request to read and respond to the detailed proposal enclosed here .

Ehud Krinis

in the name of the Villages Group and the ad-hoc committee for the children school transportation in the south Mt. Hebron region.

Transportation Plan 2008/9 (pdf file)