On Wednesday, Israeli Occupation forces delivered a military order to the Jubara village council to halt construction of a primary school, according to local sources. The school is being built by the people of Jubara to be able to continue their children’s education 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 was about to be completed, the Israeli forces issued this order for the destruction of the school under the pretext that no building permission has been given. However, no building permits have ever been granted for Palestinians to build.
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, says the school’s head.
Says a press release from the grassroots movement, "Stop the Wall": "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", says the group’s press release, "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."