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Today There Will Be No Lessons

December 2004

At quarter to four this morning the Hamash family building was bombed by the Israeli Army. At least 12 jeeps invaded Dheisheh Camp and surrounded the families’ homes, as well as Ibdaa’s kindergarten – which share the same building. The Army ordered Musa Hamash, Aziz Hamash, and Ahmed Hamash and their families outside into the damp and chilly morning air.

They were given 30 minutes to remove as many of their belongings as possible before the bombing. Not only was this not enough time, but the presence of Army jeeps blocking each of the narrow nearby streets made it even more difficult for them to save some family memories and some meager possessions.

The soldiers told them they were there only to bomb the 2 flats of Ahmed and Musa. Musa’s son, Mahmud was recently sentenced to 50 months in jail and his other son, Mahammad is currently awaiting trial. Mahmud was arrested over 2 years ago and Mahammad over 1 year ago. They both left behind young children and babies who until this morning lived in these flats.

The Army ordered the families to leave and began setting explosives throughout the homes. When bombed, the two flats were destroyed and the entire building was significantly affected, including Ibdaa’s kindergarten. Structurally the building is not safe.

The sight of children’s books and paintings were mixed with the rubble in the streets and the Hamash families became refugees once again. They are without homes and are distributed around the Camp, seeking shelter from neighbors.

Their building contained a total of eight flats, 3 belonging to Musa and 5 to Aziz, who rented the first 2 floors to Ibdaa for its kindergarten. One hundred and twenty children, aged 3-6 years old, have learned, played, danced, sung and been safe within those walls for the past 4 years.

Today these children of Dheisheh will not go to kindergarten for lessons. In just a few hours they will learn a new lesson instead: The Hamash homes were bombed and with it their haven. Even the UN schools will not teach lessons as great as the one the Army gave all of the children today when the massive explosion rocked the entire Camp.

No, today there will be no music, mathematics, science or history lessons. Teachers will not teach lessons to any of us. Today, the Israeli Army is educating us about how to destroy homes.

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