Living in the seam
On Sunday we accompanied some children walking from their school and having to go through a checkpoint. Their bags were searched, etc and they walked past guards with weapons in hand. Why? Because they live in A Seefer, which is their village in the seam zone. The seam zone or closed zone as it is also called, is the area between the Wall and the green line. The Wall is 80% over the green line and the people between the green line and Wall live in the seam zone. They are separated from their schools, farmers from their fields and villages from each other.
To get to A Seefer, the kids must negotiate the checkpoint and also the Israeli settlement that lies between the checkpoint and their village. Sometimes they are harassed so it can be scary for them.
The EAPPI team got through the checkpoint. Our stuff was searched of course and we were questioned. Our driver knew he could not cross so he stayed behind. Children here have quite a walk to and from school. Wore me out. Very hilly as everywhere.
We talked to a lady in A Seefer who spoke some English. The people have been living in A Seefer since the time of the Turks and have the land deeds. About 10 families live here presently. Many leave – there is nothing for them. Some of the homes here have been demolished by the military including a bathroom unit. Life is uncertain. Their main source of income is livestock. When kids shepherd the sheep, settlers have come and stolen some. So they are scared to do it.
The main obstacles to living here now is the checkpoints and the social isolation. You need permits for going anywhere and families cannot come to visit. And sometimes you have a pass but your vehicle does not.