Abu Kabeta - despite all the permits, when the water tanker arrived at the checkpoint they did not let them in!

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Muhammad, Smadar and Michal (photographing and reporting); Translator: Natanya
משפחת אבו קביטה - המצרכים שהבאנו בזכות תרומות החברות
א-תוואני - בארוחה לשובו של זכריא מביה"ח

After last week during our visit to Mahmoud Abu Kabeta as reported, we met his neighbours, his cousins there, who unfolded to us a difficult story of arrest, suffering and continuous deprivation. We decided to dedicate this shift to visiting them.

So, first of all, we went to the supermarket in Hura and filled the trunk with essential supplies that they lacked, according to their request. We were able to buy quite a bit thanks to the donations from our friends. But five families with over twenty children need much more than we can handle, but everything we brought is essential and makes their lot easier and happier.

Their situation is difficult because they have not been working for 3 months and also, because they have, like everyone who lives near the settlements, severe movement restrictions. We sat with 3 of the brothers. What they have been through in the last few months is unbearable. They say that on the night of 28.10 settlers and the army arrived and arrested them on the pretext that they had beaten the head of the Beit Yatir settlement adjacent to them, his name is Ram. They were brutally arrested, handcuffed and all  with a lot of violence. E. explains that in his opinion this is revenge for the fact that in 2013 the settlers' attempt to take over their lands and to fence them, failed. In the discussions they had with their lawyers at the time, they submittedthe case to the High Court.

When the members of Beit Yatir realized that the High Court would rule against them because their actions were illegal, they said that they would undertake to destroy the illegal fence and allow the family to return to their lands. They gave them a legal document signed by lawyers for both sides and the deputy state attorney, Adv. Gamar and Avital Sharon from the “Rabbis for Human Rights".

The settlers asked to cancel the High Court decision and then pledged to uphold the law and all their southern plots that the people of Beit Yatir had tried to take, were returned to them. Since then, they have been able to work and graze there.

Now, when the war broke out, the settlers tried to take advantage of the opportunity to return and take control of the lands. And in order to carry out the plan, they were accused of attacking the military security coordinator,  Ram Shapira. It turns out that he is the son of the person who signed that document on behalf of the settlement in 2013. It is clear to the Abu Kabeta brothers that it was a plot to take revenge for that time. They were detained for 48 days.

At this time, the settlers took advantage of the opportunity and redefined those plots with the authority they received from the IDF as reservists. And now in the war everything is allowed to the settlers as revenge for everything.

In addition, they have a very serious problem with water supply. It turns out that shortly before we arrived, their attempt to bring the water tank as agreed with the manager failed. They say that the manager's representative, named Hazima, who accompanied them and helped them get water when they needed it, left. They also need to coordinate with the Palestinian DCO at the same time. And they knew that everything that was agreed upon would continue. But despite all the approvals, when the tanker arrived at the checkpoint from the Metsadot Yehuda side, they did not let them fill it. They behaved violently towards the Palestinian driver and forced him to return to Yatta.

I called Lt. Col. Akram, the commander of the sector, and he promised to take care and see to it that the matter is settled and confirmed. And so, he did.

The problem is that the frightened and hurt driver no longer wanted to go back there the next day. In the continuous communication I had with both the authorities and the family, the problem was not resolved, despite all the confirmations, because people are afraid of confronting the army, and rightly so, and there is no one to carry the water for them. Later it turned out that Akram was released. So, I spoke to his replacement, Aiman, and he is in touch with the family.

But water? Thanks to good people and the people of The Villages Group, the problem was temporarily solved, but only temporarily. They also sent me a video showing how they collected rainwater from the roofs. What will happen next month and in the summer?

E. tells me: "I know what they want: that we simply die of thirst and hunger and then they can take everything from us."

We will keep in touch so that the connection and help to the people will be better.


From there we went to visit Zacaria in At-Tuwani, who we have already written about. We wanted to see how he was doing when he was released from the hospital after being seriously wounded in the stomach by a settler shot from a residential home. He is in bed, recovering. The family celebrated his return and invited us to a meal as well. But now he needs medical equipment that is difficult to obtain from them, and the family asked for the help of all friends from Israel.

This is also a complex task for us. Again, thanks to Erela from the Village Group with her experience and connections, this problem was also solved to our delight the day after our visit.

I agreed with Erela that we would be in closer contact and update each other so that the contact and help to the people there would be correct and more effective.