29. Walking to school
Tuqu’, West Bank - Palestine
Giclée print on Hahnemühle photo rag paper
30 x 42 cm
4/5 edition (+ AP)
Children walk to school in Tuqu'. The elementary school in Tuqu' sits next to Route 356, a road which is frequented by Israeli military and civilian traffic. Both elementary school and the nearby secondary boys school see a near daily military presence stating the need to protect traffic from stone throwers or anyone seeking to interrupt the traffic. In early 2016, Israeli Security Forces placed coils of razor wire between the road and footpath close to the elementary school. Student's clothes and bags would get snagged on the wire. It has since been removed by locals and not replaced by the military.
The village of Tuqu' also suffers greatly from night raids by the Israeli military. During these late night raids, children and young adults will be taken from their beds and placed in administrative detention on the accusation of stone throwing. In 2015, Ecumenical Accompaniers reported 18 children from Tuqu' were arrested or detained in the month of October alone (1).
While there, I witnessed Israeli soldiers in the immediate vicinity of the school and also using the houses nearby on Route 356 for urban training
(however, not entering the hours). Soldiers would regularly occupy the roof of a two story house next to the school for the purposes of observing the school and surrounds. The family must leave their front door unlocked at all times, as if the soldiers seek entry and the door is locked they will break it open.