Through the eyes of a child
"The following was written by my son, Joshua Hough, who lived with these people between 2007 and 2010, as part of a volunteer team to accompany Palestinian children endangered by settler violence, and to document peaceful and creative Palestinian initiatives to challenge the unfair and violent military control exercised by Israel.
'Kifaah (left) and Inshiraah (right) live in a cave with their parents, two sisters and six brothers on a remote hillside overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Negev Desert. The girls' parents trace generations of their history here. Since the first arrival of armed gangs of religious Israeli settlers in the early 1980s, their road has been cut, all Palestinian movement threatened, and many of Masaafer Yatta's cave homes demolished by the Israeli army, citing imperatives of the colonists' security.
The nearest elementary school for Kifaah and Inshiraah lies one mile up the road. Yet all the children must walk a three-mile detour to avoid the Israeli compound that now sits atop their road, because they yearn to obtain education. There are no routes drivable by car.
Kifaah and Inshiraah are both sweet but tough, having lost much of their youth to hardship and trauma. When they have to, they climb through the rocky hillside alone. Settler gangs have raided the girls' village of Tuba more times than they can count, firing guns, lighting feedstocks ablaze and stealing their father Omar's only donkey. For years Omar has received death threats from the unneighborly neighbors, an attempt to evacuate all the surrounding land of its non-Jewish residents.'"
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