Safer path to Qurtuba School

The workers outside the Qurtuba School are putting the final touch to the path leading to the school. It has been a long project with many obstacles. Where there was just a muddy path before, a stone and concrete walkway now helps the children of Qurtuba School get to and from their studies.

Workers finishing the Qurtuba School path

The workers outside the Qurtuba School are putting the final touch to the path leading to the school. It has been a long project with many obstacles. Where there was just a muddy path before, a stone and concrete walkway now helps the children of Qurtuba School get to and from their studies.

– This is a practical thing that will make life easier for the pupils, says TIPH community relations officer Haitham El-Noush. The students can now walk safer and actually get to their school.

Qurtuba School lies just next to the Beit Hadassah settlement in central Hebron. The original stairs to the school have been closed with barbed wire by IDF since 2002. Because of this, the pupils, mainly young girls, were forced to climb an alternative path consisting mainly of mud along the steep slope of the hill.

TIPH decided to finance the construction of a more secure access to the school in August 2005. The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) was the chosen contractor and the project was supposed to finish in a few weeks. However, the project was subject to several obstacles.

The path was vandalized seven times, despite the fact that a permanently manned IDF position is located within eye and ear sight of the path, so construction had to start from the beginning several times. The partial strike of HRC also delayed the project. The construction was stopped and delayed by demands of extra coordination by the IDF.

Finally a new agreement was settled between HRC, IDF and TIPH and the path was finalized. The workers had extra protection by a group of IDF soldiers due to earlier incidents when the work was stopped as workers were attacked by Israelis from the nearby settlement of Beit Hadassah.

Today the around 100 pupils of the school walk through the closed streets of Tel Rumeida and Al Shuhada on their way to school, pass the manned IDF position, take a right turn up the renovated stairs and onto the newly finished path.

TIPH asks the IDF to continue to protect civilians and properties in the H2 area in Hebron and in this specific regard protecting the path leading to Qurtuba School.

Hebron 19.01.2007