South Hebron Hills - expanding settlements

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Ariela (reporting) and Muhammad; Translator: Natanya
פוקיקיס - אצל רניה

The parking lot at the Meitar checkpoint was full, a routine of occupation that we had become accustomed to.

At Meitar a military jeep guards the intersection.

A huge and stunning villa is being sold in the settlement Otniel and the residents are busy with the elections for the head of the Mount Hebron Council. A completely normal life.

We went to meet Rania Haj-Allah at her home in Fuqeiqis, which is between the settlements Negohot and Givat HaBustan. On July 25, settlers from Negohot started working on a road in the hills behind their house.

On the way to them, you pass Ngohot A, which is a "neighbourhood" of Negohot and the sheep farms and now a new Negohot will probably be built.

When you get closer to Rania's village, you can already see from a distance the works being done in the field.

The hill is bare of stones and a bulldozer is building a sort of fence. When you get closer you can see tents, under one of which a military van is parked and under the other sit the soldiers guarding the "pioneers". In the centre of the picture, the roofs of the houses of a Palestinian village that is beyond the ridge are sticking out, and this is where the new Negohot will be built, whose residents will make life miserable for the local people.

We entered Rania's family home and were warmly welcomed by her mother and sister. The meeting with the children was difficult. One of the children, at preschool age, burst into heartbreaking tears when he saw me, and I thought to myself what experiences such a young child has already had that the sight of an Israeli makes him cry like that. The older children and the babyinfo-icon in the house also looked at me suspiciously. As we arrived loaded with all the goodies Smadar had collected, including toys, I was finally able to get some fun out of the boy after we played ball.

We took Rania to her work in Khursa and on the way back on road 60, in front of the spring, near the Dura-Al-Fawwar intersection, two jeeps guarded the road.