In October I will also be trying to foster grassroots links with grassroots organisations in the Jordan valley region, the most fertile area of the West Bank in danger of annexation by the Israeli state suffering from exploitation by Israeli and international corporations...
When I visited Al Jifflik in April the local children were studying in a school constructed from 6 large canvas tents (see previous report). The villagers had erected these tents over a year ago to provide local education for their children, who would otherwise have to travel through unpredictable military checkpoints to the UNRWA school.
Since then teaching in Al Jifflik has ground to a halt, as it has all over Palestine. The US and EU sanctions on Hamas means that teachers have not been paid since the elections. The tents are being used to teach a few essential exam classes
However, the people of Al Jifflik have defied the military imposeed building restrictions and the bureaucracy of aid organisations and obtained money from a local agricultural association to build a stone structure to house the local students. The headteacher said that they were afraid that the Israeli military would come to demolish the school but they were not willing to go on exposing their children to the sun in the summer and to rain and cold in the winter.