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Resisting the expulsions in Wadi Siq

Wadi Siq is a Bedouin community East of Ramallah, under threat of forced displacement.

Some families have already been chased away. The combined pressure from the Occupation authorities and the fanatical settlers has been increasing dramatically in recent months. Four nearby communities – Ein Samiya, Al-Qabun, Ras al-Tin and a community close to Taybeh Junction – have been forced to evacuate since 2019. Settler violence is on the increase, and the communities off Wadi Siq and Ein Rashash are facing an existential threat.

Even where families are still in their living spaces, there are ruined buildings that the frequency of settler attacks has discouraged people from rebuilding. The small primary school is now bearing the brunt of the attacks. It is under threat of demolition and it is unlikely that the plaques proclaiming the EU’s pious policy of opposition to forced transfer will offer much protection. When we spoke to the Headmistress, her fear of demolition was far less than her terror of settler violence. An outpost has been set up opposite the school gate, only a couple of hundred meters away. The young hooligans who live there use their vehicles to harass children and teachers on a daily basis, blocking the road and provoking minor collisions whenever the children’s school bus or the teachers minibus enter or exit the school.

The constant feeling of insecurity has forced many children to abandon their education. Numbers have declined from 120 students to 65, since the erection of the settlers tents last year.

A day before we were there, a settler had pointed his gun through the window of a classroom, terrifying children and teachers. They break and steal when possible: the school is equipped with impressive solar panels, but the batteries have been stolen, meaning that the classrooms have no digital technology any more, and the lack of air conditioning makes it difficult to work and study under the tin roofs.

Currently, different activists and organisations are working together to set up a protective presence and to raise awareness in the hope of preventing another episode of ethnic cleansing.