Khan Al Ahmar – E1 Plan

Hussem looks at the life surrounding him: who is speaking vivaciously, who is playing cards, who is dancing, who is drinking tea, who is speaking in front of a camera, answering to journalist and reporters. There is an endless stream of people day and night to not let uncovered the preside at the entrance of the village near the “Rubber Tyre School”, which became Khan al Ahmar symbol after its construction.
Now is nearly evening, and the day passed calmly: no bulldozers, no police, no army, no arrests. Maybe the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) decided to grant a day of truce to let Khan al Ahmar licks its wounds after yesterday, or maybe they have other things to do.
Hussem gets up from the chair full of sore. He moves under the artificial light of a lamp and pull on the shirt. The bruise on the right hip is becoming bigger, purple and more painful, so that it’s becoming difficult to raise up the arm.

They were all quietly, as now. Then, there was a great uproar. Police and Israeli army appeared from nowhere with four bulldozers. Hussem and all the other ones who were under the tent got up, running towards the convoy. The police started to push away, throwing on the ground and beating anyone who were there. Who was able to pass the line created by soldiers and policemen stopped in front of the bulldozer to stop the demolitions. Hussem was reaching a bulldozer when he felt pulled from his shirt fell to the ground.
Maybe the bruise comes from that fall, or the kicks following the impact with the ground. He can’t remember exactly. After a little bit he found himself immobilized: face-down, with hands blocked behind his back by a knee that crushed him even more against the arid ground. In the dust he saw his cousin dragged away from two policemen. Maybe they would meet again in prison, Hussem thought.
Then the pressure on the back disappeared, his hands were free to move. Hussem got up and turned around suddenly, he wanted to look in the face who was destroying his home, who wanted to arrest him. When he turned he found himself surrounded by a group of women, who were screaming against a policeman, probably the same one that Hussem wanted to look straight in the eyes. Then he saw the policeman pushing a woman and grasping her from her veil, which disbanded and felt down.
A pat on his shoulder brings him back to reality, Hussem greets hastily his uncle and fixes his shirt. He starts to walk toward the school passing through screaming children who were chasing themselves. He looks at the building and thinks that in the end, despite Israeli plan, arrests and bruises, despite the humiliation of a woman who is forcibly unveiled in public, the school with its tyre walls, is still there, as the tents and the barracks of the village.

Khan al Ahmar is one of the 45 Bedouin villages inside the 12 kilometres which separates Jerusalem from Ma’ale Adumim, an Israeli settlement of around 37.000 inhabitants. All the Palestinian villages in the area are under constant threaten of demolition and forced displacement of people (around 37.000 Bedouin, half of them children) in favour of the E1 development plan, a settlement project which wants to create an Israeli urban bloc between Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem.
The implementation of this project, which represents a serious breach of the international law, basically would strengthen the control of Israel on East Jerusalem, mashing the Palestinian districts between Israeli districts and settlements; the settlement would break the territorial contiguity between North and South Palestine, further limiting the freedom of movement of Palestinians and in fact dividing the West Bank in two parts.