Accompanying shepherds in the Jordan Valley

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Judy, Rachel A. (reporting and photographing) Translator: Charles K.

Khalet Makhul is surrounded on all sides by military bases and settlements.  They’re guarding it so nothing will happen, God forbid.  On the north: Umm Zuka on the hilltop, beyond it a Kfir unit’s base, an additional base to the east for maneuvers, and above it, slightly eastward –

We accompanied Yusef Bisharat’s flock at Khalet Makhul.  The flock is relatively large.  Three of his sons also went with us.  School has been suspended because of the Coronavirus.  The illness seems to be spreading there, like among us.  But without the noise.

The grazing proceeded uneventfully. We climbed and descended hills and valleys and arrived at the southeast, above the military base and next to the unfriendly, unpleasant Hemdat settlement.

We stopped for the sheep to graze and have something to eat ourselves.  We exercised, did headstands, drank tea brewed over a small fire.

Palestinians are working all along the road digging a ditch lined with metal netting and plastic sheeting, which will then be filled in so that the rains don’t flood the road.  Of all that’s lacking here, that’s what they choose to upgrade.

We returned early in order to reach the veterinary center in time, to find out the reason lambs in the area are dying.

The rain and cold make the sheep ill.  The reason isn’t always clear.  Maybe that’s the reason.