Accompanying shepherds in the Umm Zuka area

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Ben Tzion Eshel and Hagar Gefen (Reporting)

We arrived at 07:00

After breakfast each of the three shepherds takes his flock and leaves for the pasture.  We accompanied the oldest of the three.

After 12:00 when we were about to return home vehicles arrived carrying workers from the Red Cross together with soldiers and an officer from the liaison command from the IDF. I tried to listen to their conversation in Arabic.  We were able to be present at the beginning of their conversation with the shepherd.  I listened to the conversation between the shepherd and the Red Cross workers and some of the liaison unit.   

The staff from the Red Cross emphasized that they had not toured the area for three years and they were not embarking on a learning tour after receiving complaints about violence on the part of settlers towards shepherds.  It is hoped that there will be similar tours every few months.

 The shepherd explained that the area of the farm is owned by his family.  They have documentation of this in addition to documentation of harassment by settlers.  Meanwhile Ben listened and recorded the conversation in writing between the settler’s wife and an IDF officer.  She received an audience from Major Ron from the Civil Administrationinfo-icon.

  • How many children do you have?
  • Do you raise sheep?
  • Where did you give birth?
  • My wife is a nurse there.
  • I am studying nursing.
  • Good for you!  What did you learn first?  Etc.

We concluded the day in another area and exchanged games and books for the children and gifts we had received from Buma.