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A Plea from Yemenite Village
Life in the Yemenite Village – in the Shadow of Daily Terror

10/24/2010


We would like to update you on the latest developments regarding the security situation in our area, and how it affects our life and the life of our children.
 
A few weeks before the High Holidays there was a general deterioration of the security situation in the Yemenite Village. Events of rock and Molotov cocktail throwing at our homes and at our vehicles, attacks on us when we walk in the streets and attacks on our guards and on the security Jeep that takes us in and out of the neighborhood - have occurred several times a day.
 
On their way to kindergarten and back home, our children witness frightening experience on a daily basis, when the security Jeep is bombarded by stones with them inside, not to mention the real danger involved. Even though the wind screens of the Jeep are shutter-protected, the big rocks almost always break the mirrors, the rioters also throw bottles of paint that smash and spill on the front window screen so that the driver cannot see the road, a situation that by miracle does not end in an accident, it making the ride very life endangering even in a bullet-proof Jeep. Just imagine kindergarten children experiencing this traumatic state of emergency and danger almost every day.
 
In reply to our requests, the police increased their presence in the village and arrested suspects. Troops of Border Police accompany us every time we go through the streets. Unfortunately this vehicle is recognized from afar and the Arabs are always ready to attack as they know when we are coming or leaving. Since the event of the terrorist who was shot by the security guard on the eve of Sukkot, the Police insist that we cannot leave home without them accompanying us, so we can come and go only a few times a day. During the days of Sukkot there were only three times a day that we could leave or enter. It was literally being under siege. What we actually did was that some families opted to leave home for the whole 7 days and went to relatives, while those who could not do that stayed besieged inside their homes, not the happiest way to celebrate the holiday.
 
After Sukkot, people had to go to work, the children had to go back to their kindergartens and nurseries, the families had to go back to normal routine, including social and family events, Doctor’s appointments etc., but all the police could give us during the week after Sukkot were 7 times a day escorting us in or out. We are about 30 people here, so no way can we go freely wherever we need, and the ones who are most affected by it are the children. Since 1:30 pm, when schooldays end, they need to wait at least an hour and a half until they are escorted home at 3:00 pm the earliest, and we speak of kindergarten children who usually come home so tired that all they can do is have lunch and some rest, but our children have to wait in the streets of Ir David for hours before they get home.

Since there is no room in the Jeep, parents cannot go pick up their children and stay with them, so what many parents do is to make the children stay at home and not go to kindergarten at all. Every time we have to go for errands, we know that we will have to wait hours before returning home. An example from last week - in order to be on time for a Doctor’s appointment, one of the mothers had to leave home with the child at 8:00 am (the appointment was scheduled for 12:30 pm) and roam the streets of Jerusalem for more than 4 hours. The afternoon escort is at 4:00 pm, those who don’t arrive on time have to wait until 7:00pm. People who come back from work have to be at the meeting point at 7:00 pm, or wait outside until 11:00 pm. If you happen to be out of the city and could not make it at 11:00 pm – you have to have family or friends somewhere in the City, where you can spend the night.

 
We made some inquiries and found out that even in Netzarim in Gush Katif, during the hardest times there, when explosive charges on the road and fallings of mortar shells were daily events, the residents could enter their homes in time intervals not longer than 40 minutes.
 
Life here turned to be the most difficult ever. Please try to find a solution so we can stay here and lead normal lives – both adults and children,
 
The Families of the Yemenite Village