South Hebron Hills – entrances to the villages are blocked

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Smadar (reporting) and Muhammad (photographing); Translator: Natanya
בחצר אצל פרחאן מסמיה

It is impossible not to notice the parking at the checkpoint, which is usually busy on both sides. No Palestinians have crossed since October 7.

Route 60 from the Meiter checkpoint, to the Meiter intersection (there is a fork between Route 60 and Route 317), very few cars, and those driven by settlers mainly.

Muhammad asks to show me the block in the Shima pool (a waterhole in front of Shavim on Highway 60). We turn to the left, and indeed there is an earthen embankment and next to it the sheep carcasses that are thrown there routinely by the settlers of Havat Yehuda, Elyashiv Nahum.

The smell is unbearable, and so is the sight.

Across the street, Samu' and the entrance to it is blocked by a yellow gate.

I notice two spots not far away, where Israeli flags are flying on a pole, to show who is in control of the area.

Seeing a camerainfo-icon, a police jeep pulls up, and a nice policewoman is interested in my health, and if everything is okay. I replied that I was taking pictures of the view, and they continued on their way.

We arrived in Amir, the village where Salman's family lives.

Samia is between Shima and Othniel, on Route 60.

Looking from the family house, across the road, Samu'. The permanent entrance through which we reach them is blocked by a pile of dirt. Salman, who knew about our arrival in advance, apologized and said that he could not leave Samu (where he went shopping).

Two of his sons welcome us.

They say that as early as October 7, the day the war broke out, the army set up checkpoints in the village, and so in all the villages and cities in the region. In order to purchase food and basic supplies, they must cross Route 60, (remember that this is a main road, loaded with trucks and cars).

One of the boys told us that on Friday they went to pray at the mosque in Samu'. A military car spotted them and fired at them. Miraculously nothing happened. They immediately ran back to their home.

We continued north towards Fawwar Junction. At the entrance to Dahariya on highway 60, shortly after the Othniel settlement, there is a checkpoint and a Palestinian vehicle cannot enter.

It is important to note that entering Dahariya from the Ramadin area, which is close to the Meitar checkpoint, is possible.

The southern entrance to the village of Abda is blocked by an earth embankment. The northern entrance to the village is blocked by a yellow barrier.

The village of Fawwar is blocked off, and in the square near the pillbox is an Israeli flag.

The two positions, sometimes occupied by soldiers, are not manned, but the Israeli flag flies over each of them.

The nearby gas station is not active.

In conclusion, everything is closed to vehicles, and it is also very difficult to get from place to place on foot. Israeli flags are scattered so that they can see and be seen.

The face of the occupation in the days of war.