Escorting herdsmen and guarding in Farsiya: More evidence of IDF aiding settlers' crimes

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Nati, Racheli Bar-Or, Jamie, Yaakov Middleburg, Nadav Rubinstein, Miki Fisher (reporting). Translation: Danah Ezekiel

Friday, 02.02.2024

Nati and I (Mickey) came to the night shift in Farsiya for a 'protective presence'. Opposite is Didi's outpost (it doesn't have a name yet). Yifat, whom we came to replace, told us about two incidents that happened that morning. The first happened when she went out with A and other volunteers to graze on the side of Alon Road near the Rotem settlement. A. grazes there always and without any problem. Even the two fields adjacent to his belong by deed to a Palestinian. Apparently Didi and/or his son called the army. Despite being shown maps of the are, the soldiers dismissed the fact that it does not belong to the Rotem settlement, and rudely expelled A. from the place.

Having been burned by illegal arrests in the past, A. was afraid of being arrested again. Even Though the occupation law was on his side in this case, he decided to move to a pasture near the house.

In the second case, M., another shepherd from Farsia, was grazing in the afternoon on a nearby hill, and lo and behold -  again the settlers called the army and the soldiers ordered him to leave with the claim of grazing in a fire zone. His claims that he had been grazing his flock there since the days of yore did not help and neither did the volunteers’ inquiry into why the permission to graze there changed. M was also forced to return to graze near his camp, in a place where the grass is diminishing.

Thus the army, in the service of the settlers, deepens the harassment of the shepherds and in practice pushes for the ethnic cleansing of the Valley of its inhabitants, the native Palestinians, and for its eventual annexation to the State of Israel.

Later in the evening it was cold and rainy. A invited us to dinner, after which we visited and drank tea with other families. The night passed quietly, the rain continued to fall non-stop until early morning.

Saturday, 03.02.2024

In the morning the other companions arrived. Jamie and Nati accompanied A. for a relatively short pasture of three hours, on another hill. The pasture passed without any interruptions. Nadav and Jacob went to accompany Y. to Khalet Makhul and that's where today's event took place. Three hill boys came out of a nearby outpost, one of them armed with a weapon. The boys pushed the herd towards the nearby military base, while the volunteers tried to stop them. This time the soldiers behaved decently and kept the settlers away.  The volunteers called the police, who arrived, and they also allowed the grazing to continue. This is not the end of the story because someone called an ambulance, allegedly because they heard gunshots in the air. The ambulance driver decided that it was the Palestinians who called her and said she would complain about them. All of them, the Palestinians and their escorts, strongly denied that they had reported any shooting. The escorts speculate that the initiative to order an ambulance came from the Roi settlement, as a protest and as harassment for the imposition of sanctions against the entry of violent settlers into the US.

Racheli and I stayed in Farsiya for a 'protective presence' against possible attacks by settlers and the army, but the grazing of all the shepherds passed quietly.

In the meantime, we turned to teaching English to children of different ages and then to creative activities with art materials. In between we walked around the camp and visited our friends. We drank a lot of tea and coffee.

On that day, Adi and Eshel also accompanied N., another shepherd in the Bekaot area. The 10 hours of grazing also passed without any interruption. In the evening, they returned to Farsiya and waited for the night shift to come to replace them. We left around 18.00.

In the grind of this oppressive occupation, you can never predict how the day will go. The current Saturday passed peacefully and this time the settlers failed to realize their plan.

Poor consolation.







מה הן זכויות הפלסטינים ואיך מדינת ישראל מתנהלת בפועל?