March 9, 2023 — Everyday, just before 8 in the morning, all of the students from the Palestinian village of Tuba gather at the top of a nearby hill to begin their journey to school. There, they sit and wait, doing homework and playing games in the grass, until a single army jeep arrives to follow them on their way to school.
Tuba, a village located 3 kilometers from the regional school in Tuwani, is cut off from neighboring Palestinian villages by the Israeli settlement outpost of Havat Ma’on. Since Havat Ma’on was settled in 2001, the settlers have antagonized and committed countless acts of violence against the community of Tuba. In 2004, after settlers attacked children from Tuba on multiple occasions, a Knesset committee ordered the army to accompany the children through the settlement on their way to school on a daily basis. Apart from this daily patrolled commute, the army officially closed the road to Palestinian use. What was proposed as a temporary solution to prevent settlers’ attacks has turned into nearly 20 years of restricted movement for Tuba’s residents. The settlers of Havat Ma’on continue to use the road as they wish.