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Torrington man Dave Clinch caught up in Israeli bomb blasts

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

TEACHING TRIP: Dave Clinch during his visit to Palestine.

TEACHING TRIP: Dave Clinch during his visit to Palestine.

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WITNESSING bomb blasts and overhead air attacks was not enough to put one man off going back to continue his work in Israel.

Dave Clinch, 61, from Torrington, was in the country when the bombing of Gaza began on November 16 last year.

He had arrived there on October 27 to complete five weeks teaching at two schools when the attacks started.

Dave, a retired teacher, was staying about 25 kilometres from where the bomb blasts were going off and said he could feel the tremors when they reached their targets.

He said: "There were rockets coming our way, and we heard them and felt the explosions but we weren't hit.

"There were also air raid sirens but it was nothing compared to what was happening in Gaza. It was something we had no control over.

"We decided we would get on and do the things we had to do. We were planning to meet a musician in a village who was blind and a harpist but we couldn't go because it was too dangerous."

The purpose of Dave's visit was to spend time teaching at two different schools and visit children, then come back to the UK and continue his work with the North Devon Palestine Solidarity campaign group.

He first visited the area back in 2008 along with three others from the National Union of Teachers but returned again last year on his own.

"My reason for going was to do something useful, to teach," he said.

Dave has given various talks since returning from Palestine and hopes to visit again at the end of this year.

The North Devon branch of the solidarity campaign is holding an event outside the Guildhall in Barnstaple on Saturday marking the International Day of Action for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.

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