Jubara Villagers Challenge Occupation Order to Demolish their School
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Jubara Villagers Challenge Occupation Order to Demolish their School

Wednesday, 10th of May, Occupation forces delivered a military order to the Jubara village council to halt construction of a primary school. The school is being built by the people of Jubara to be able to resist in their village despite the extreme isolation forced upon them by the Wall and Occupation.

The school is located east of the village and has the capacity to teach 120 boys and girls needing primary education. Just as construction is about to be completed, the Occupation attempts to destroy the school under the pretext that no building permission has been given. However, all construction in the “C areas” is completely under Occupation control since the Oslo Accords.

Currently, Jubara children are forced to travel to the neighbouring villages of Ar-Ras (5 km away) or Kufr Sur (3 km away) to attend school. However, the Wall completely isolates Jubara from these villages, Tulkarem and the rest of the West Bank. Two gates have been built next to Jubara in the Wall: one for farmers with pecial permits to pass to their fields and the other for all the village population. Only residents of Jubara can pass to and from the rest of the West Bank to the village, and only at set times. At 6:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. the gate normally opens for one hour only. During Jewish festivities, other holidays, or before and during military attacks on the West Bank, the gates remain closed. Sometimes the soldiers close the gates in front of the students without any given reason. Life for the students from Jubara is thus completely in the hands of the Occupation, their school attendance depending on the mood of the soldiers.

The 400 villagers of Jubara have combined their efforts and resources to offer their children a decent education. A local farmer donated his land for the effort, and the community has donated 350,000 NIS in private donations. Against all threats from the Occupation, the village is determined to finish the school. “We will go ahead. The coming school year, the students must have their own school here in the village”, confirms a village council member.

Jubara’s fate is emblematic of daily life in the northern West Bank. Whether directly isolated behind the Wall, as in the case of Jubara, or isolated by checkpoints, movement within the northern areas is getting more difficult every day. Military attacks and house demolitions continue. Crossing from the north to the center or south of the West Bank has been made almost impossible because Za’tara checkpoint, the passageway linking the north to the center of the West Bank, is almost always closed.