Renovating 7 houses in Ka’abne, 20 homes in Abu Al Ajaj

12:00 Aug 30 2011 Ka’abne and Abu Al Ajaj, Jordan Valley (Geo coordinates unknown at this time)

JVS Volunteer Monthly report: June and July 2011 [Read full report at News source link]

Building Vittorio School Raz Al Auja

In January 2011 we set up a solidarity tent school in Raz Al Auja which currently has 25 children attending. In March 2011, work started on Vittrorio Solidarity School, a few hundred meters from the current tent school. Vittorio Solidarity School will be a solid mud brick school, with additional mobile class rooms, for up to 100 children. The school is being built entirely by volunteers from the Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign.

Work this month for Vittorio School has been put on hold due to a donation of 4 large mobile structures to be used as classrooms. We are awaiting their arrival.

Building work on the Jordan Valley Solidarity House

One and a half years ago the Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign began renovations on the oldest house in the Jordan Valley. This house serves as a base from which the campaign and its volunteers can work to provide practical solidarity and support for indigenous communities resisting displacement from their land.

Volunteers now live at the house and renovations are almost complete. This month volunteers have finished building the front porch area, cleared the outside areas, built a kitchen outside to make more space inside for visitors, built a fully functioning shower, added steps inside the house, leveled the floor in the living area and painted a communal area

Renovating 7 houses in Ka’abne

In April 2011, we started renovating homes in Arab El Ka’abne village in Al Auja, situated in area C, a mile north of Jericho. This project received funding from the Spanish Co-operation. The project is also partnered with Ma’an Development Centre.

The aim of this project is to support this Bedouin community to stay on their land.
The Palestinian community, Arab El Ka’abne, currently live in extremely harsh conditions under metal shelters, where temperatures are very cold in winter and extremely hot in summer. They have no access to electricity and are forced out of necessity to purchase water stolen from their land from an Israeli water company. The community is also surrounded by three Israeli settlements and a check point.

Eight homes are currently under construction, using both concrete and mud bricks depending on the wishes of the families. 10 workers from both Ka’abhneh and other parts of the Jordan Valley are working on the project and Jordan Valley Solidarity volunteers regularly come to support the work. Both volunteers and workers have gained practical building skills through this project.

When the project was near completion in late June, it was decided to add outside kitchens and toilets to the homes. Focus this month is on getting these completed. Roofing work has started on the homes and most of the doors and windows have been fitted. The families are Bedouin and do not stay in the village for the summer months. The homes will be ready for all the families to move into by mid August.


Renovating 20 homes in Abu Al Ajaj

After long discussions and many meetings with the community, work started on renovating 20 homes in Abu Al Ajaj. This project received funding from the Representative Office of Norway to Palestine and in partnership with Ma’an Development Centre. The Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign is providing all of the material for the building work and also some expertise. People from the community are constructing their homes in defiance of Israeli policy showing their strength and determination in resisting the occupation.

Abu Al Ajaj is classified as Area C and situated in the north of the Jordan Valley. This means residents live under total Israeli civil and military control. The community of Abu Al Ajaj existed as a refugee camp after they were forced to leave their homes in historical Palestine 1948 by the Zionist paramilitaries. During the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza the refugee camp of Abu Al Ajaj was destroyed and all references to its existence wiped from the UN maps.

Since 1948, and the establishment of the Israeli state, Israel has implemented a deliberate policy to transfer part of its population into the occupied West Bank in direct contravention of international law as stated in the Geneva Conventions. As part of this policy the colony of Massu’a was established on the land where the Palestinian refugee camp once stood. Since the establishment of Massu’a, the colony has stolen 142,817 dunams of land and 142 Israeli settlers have illegally moved in to the area where the refugee camp once was. Not satisfied with stealing the land, the settlers have started cultivating the land and selling their produce to European markets - generating profit from the illegal occupation.

Today, those Palestinians who remain in Abu Al Ajaj are surrounded by the settlement and one of the largest military bases in the Jordan Valley. This year settlers erected a fence annexing more of the villagers land. Internationals from the Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign stood in solidarity with members of the local community to resist the expansion of the settlement. As a result two Palestinians were arrested and spent 7 months in an Israeli prison.

The renovating of the homes in Abu Al Ajaj is another example of the indigenous Palestinian population’s determination to resist the occupation and remain on their land. Building work will continue for the next few months with a break during the period of Ramadan.

[Read full report at News source link]
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