ANYONE driving along the highway from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea would find it easy to miss: a small school built from old car tyres and mud.
Each weekday, 94 students from this Bedouin village, Khan al Ahmar, and surrounding villages make their way to the school. Many arrive at 6.30am, an hour and a half before the school opens. But a Jewish settlement, Kfar Adumim, has been built above the village of Bedouins, who are also Palestinians. The UN says 37 Palestinian schools now face demolition and since the mid 1990s Israel has issued 12,400 demolition orders against Palestinian structures. The settlers want the “tyre school” demolished and Israeli authorities are pushing for the entire village to be moved from the Jerusalem area, even though the village was established in 1951 and the settlement in the 1980s.
The villagers have lost a battle against the demolition and relocation orders. Before Kfar Adumim, the Bedouins grazed their animals on the hill. Now the Bedouins keep away because they have been attacked by armed settlers. Settlers sometimes come into the village at night in a truck with a light on top, drive in circles, shout and leave. Village leader Eid Jahalin says he recently caught settlers cutting the village water pipe. The Bedouins’ lives have been made difficult by the declaration of grazing lands as military zones. […]
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