Campaign for the abolition of "Firing Zone 918" in South Hebron Hills

Daily life in the Firing Area 918


For the families who live in the desert the morning starts early. At sunrise, the women wake up and start preparing the house for the family’s members. They light the stove by woods, or when it is not enough, they burn some other material such as plastic or trash. Secondly, they switch the oven on in order to cook the bread kneaded the previous night. They have breakfast all together, crouched around the same dish: warm bread freshly backed, olive oil and zatar, sometimes fried eggs and olives. The children start preparing themselves for the school: they wear the smock and then they set out along the road with the satchel in their hands. The road leading to the school can take little time but sometimes more than half an hour.
The children, gathered in small groups, climb over the rocky hills of the desert. The oldest take care of the youngest ones. The men instead deal with the livestock: they feed the sheep and when it is not necessary to work on the land, they take the flock to grazing. On the other hand, the women remain in tends or caves taking care of the houseworks.

The view surrounding the villages of this area is gorgeous, there is great silence, a lot of space, and especially a lot of peace. But the nature is hostile: the water is scarce and the vegetation as well. The families spend a lot of money in buying the sheep’s fodder. The sheep are taken on grazing not in order to be fed, the lack of fresh grass is evident in this area, but because the herd needs physical movement. In addition, a lot of money is spent for the water tanks that ensure the people needs. People wait for the rain season with strong anxiety. If the rain does not come, the year will be very hard for everybody. On the contrary, when starts raining, people feel blessed by God. Nevertheless, the weather can cause disastrous consequences: water infiltrations in the houses, serious damages to the tends or to the shacks at the hand of the wind.
Working the land is also hard due to the rocky ground. Few families have the tractor and some of them use the plow by hand.
Besides the stones and the drought, is necessary to pay attention to the unexploded device not always visible in the ground. Nobody knows from where they come from exactly and for how log time they are there. Nonetheless, in this military exercise area, is already happened that someone risked his life jumping on an unexploded device. In Jinba village, a child has been taken to the hospital because, while he was playing, the device exploded under his feet. Today the child has a big scar on the back. In Halawaeh village a man has a big scar on his belly, whilst another man today is crippled.

When the night falls, the families meet in their tends or caves and before becomes dark they eat all together. In some villages we can find solar panels, wind turbines or generators producing electricity and thus giving the possibility to light the houses and the most lucky ones are able to watch the TV.

In some other villages the electricity is not available, or it is used when is strictly necessary and in order to finish the houseworks. Finally, the family members meet in front of the fire, heating up, making jokes or telling stories. Little by little the fire embers begin to fade. The people lie down on mattresses laid on the ground and they cover themselves by a large amount of raw wool blankets, because they have to compensate the lack of heating.
This is the simple daily life of the families. However, every morning when they wake up, they know how risky is their life. They can be entirely deported and lose all their possessions because the Israeli army decides to steal a new area where to organize their military trainings.

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2 thoughts on “Daily life in the Firing Area 918

  1. Heya i’m for the primary time here. I came across this board and I in finding It really helpful & it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to provide one thing back
    and help others like you aided me.

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