Mughayer al Abid – settlers from Havat Maon kill sheep and destroy grain fields

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Michal (reporting and photographing); Translator: Natanya
מר'ייר אל עביד - ביתו של שחאדה חמאמרה
מר'ייר אל עביד - חצר ביתו של שחאדה חמאמרה
מר'ייר אל עביד - עם שחאדה

We went to Mughayer al Abid (the slave caves), a place that raises many questions about what is happening there.

 We went because of reports about the extensive damage which has been caused for a long time by the settlers of Havat Ma'on, but in the last month everything has become much worse.

We went to meet Shehade  Hamamra and his family who live  in the caves in Wadi behind the Ma'on Farm.

Shehade is very upset and disturbed because his 19-year-old son is under arrest since Shabbat in Etzion.

At 3 in the morning, the security forces came, handcuffed him and took him shirtless in the cold of the night.  They didn't even let him give his son a shirt.

 The soldiers claimed that during a demonstration in the area on Saturday which was because of the harassment by the settlers, stones were thrown at the settlers and his son is suspected of this as well. The family is obviously very, very worried.

Shehade speaks from his heart about a month in which the settlers have come down with their herds to  the Palestinians’ wheat and barley fields and ate the crop which is meant for the Palestinians and their herds . They also killed two lambs lately. The photos were   taken by Yair Ron who was there with Ariela at the actual time.

  This year, according to him, he has documentation that these are his own legal lands, but the same claims are made by the army.  The army together with the settlers claim that these are state lands but police says that these are private lands.

According to him his family has lived here since the days of the Turks. A grandfather's grandfather who was a soldier in the Turkish army is buried there on one of the hills.

He tells us again about a history of attacks in 2005  and also in 2007 when five 5 and 7 sheep were killed.

In 2012, 15 male and female goats were stolen from him. At the time he was in Yatta shopping.

The settlers came to harvest with a combine, saw the herd, brought a van and loaded it. Luckily for him, the Italian Operation Dove volunteers were there and filmed everything.

Thanks to the photographs, the court ruled that they deserve compensation, But only for 2 goats  because according to the court the photo was from a distance and did not show the image in full.

He also says that in the winter of 2005 they came to his mother's herd and entered her fields with their herds and ate  all the grain.

When she went up to chase them away , the settlers shot her in the foot.

In spite of the Intifada and the closureinfo-icon, they managed to bring her to a private hospital in Yatta. But she has remained lame and needs medication to this day.

  According to him, the rampage of the settlers in the last month has been very bad. And he is crying out for help to the whole world.

A lawyer named Qamar is representing him and he sent her all the material,  as well as to a lawyer named Neta Amar, but both are from the some sort of  organization and they say that in the case of his son's arrest,  he needs a private lawyer.

I would be happy if anyone has an idea how to help.

The children of the family climb the wadi every morning until they reach Umm Tuba where they join the other children who are waiting to be escorted by the army later on.

In conclusion:

1. I filmed a long video in which all of what Shehade said about their situation I transferred to Nurit. She will edit it and then everything will be clearer because there is nothing better than seeing and not only reading. We will forward the video to all and sundry.

2.  I invite anyone who wants to come and actually see the situation to do so. Then you will also understand why we need a 4×4 vehicle from time to time. If you have any doubts about this you will also "enjoy" like us the feeling that all your guts   and your bones (at our respectable age) will be groaning.