“The mobile clinic is the only healthcare service in our community”

“Life is so hard in this community. We face daily aggression from the settlers, who live a few kilometres away,” said Saeda, a mother of 10 children, when asked about her life in Trefaat, a Bedouin community in the Jordan Valley.

Trefaat lies in the 60% of the occupied West Bank which is under full Israeli military and civil control known as ‘Area C’. It is situated close to an illegal Israeli settlement called Mevo’ot. Saeda spoke to Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) during a recent visit to the community from the mobile clinic we provide in partnership with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS).

Alongside growing settler violence, many Palestinians in Trefaat experience dire living conditions and are denied equitable access to basic needs like clean water and electricity. They are also under constant threat of having their homes demolished and face restricted freedom of movement due to checkpoints and roadblocks.

“Settlers keep confiscating our livestock. They keep following the children and raiding our homes. As a Bedouin community, our bathroom is located outside our home. So every time the children want to use it, they ask me to go with them, because at any moment the settlers may raid the community and start attacking them. They are always so scared of the settlers,” said Saeda.

Saeda, who lives in Trefaat, a Bedouin community in the Jordan Valley.

While Israeli settlers living nearby have comprehensive and unobstructed access to modern clinics and well-equipped hospitals, Palestinians living in Area C are prevented from building permanent infrastructure, including health clinics. Mobile clinics like the one supported by MAP are therefore essential for ensuring access to basic primary healthcare.

“The mobile clinic is the only healthcare service in our community. They use the mosque to provide their medical services. But they only visit us once a week,” said Saeda. “A few months ago, my 4-year-old daughter cut her finger in half. We had to wait for a taxi to pick us up and take us to the hospital, which is 30 minutes away. When we reached the hospital, my daughter had lost a significant amount of blood from the bleeding, and we had to stay in the hospital for 10 days. If we had a clinic [nearby], she would have been treated immediately. I thought I was going to lose her.”

Trefaat is just one of dozens of Bedouin communities enduring Israel’s systematic discrimination and a coercive environment in Area C. In this dire context, MAP and PMRS’ mobile clinic offers a vital lifeline to families like Saeda’s.

You can support our mobile clinic by making a donation to MAP today.

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Read this story in Arabic here.

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