It is heart-breaking to see the family so broken

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Jude, Rachel Afek, Sharon G., Taayush volunteer shepherd-accompaniers, and Daphne Banai (report and photos)
Injured man an  boy with a youngster


Jiftlik on the main road, immediately following the ruined gas station. The Ka’abana family about whom I reported a week ago: on August 5 the grandfather and grandmother, their children and grandchildren were expelled from their Al Hadidiya home that had already been demolished twice in the past two months. A day before they left, the Ro’i neighboring settler-colony’s security official arrived and ordered them to leave, or else the army will come and demolish their home again. Immediately following his ‘visit’ came soldiers, and their commander said that if by the next morning they were still there, the tractor and all they have would be confiscated. Early in the morning, in the dark, they rose, loaded all they had on a wagon connected to the tractor, and went forth to find a new dwelling place. At 5:30 a.m. an Israeli truck coming from the opposite direction swerved out of its lane and hit them. Hana, a 50-days old babyinfo-icon girl was killed instantly, her mother Sara was severely wounded and was flown to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. She has not regained consciousness to date. The grandfather driving the tractor fractured his hand and everyone except a 2-year old grandson whose grandmother had at once protected with her own body – were wounded.

It is heart-breaking to see the family so broken. A mourning tent has been erected at the entrance to the family’s encampment. One of the children, 6-year old Hamza has a large bandage over his head. We first sat with the men in the mourning tent. We then went to the stone structure where Odeh’s mother lives, as apparently the family’s regular dwelling place is in Jiftlik village, but crowding there is awful, one house practically  touching the other. That is why every summer the family used to move to Al Hadidiya to graze its livestock in more open space. All the more so in a year like this one that had seen a lot of rain and pasture abounds. Even after being expelled from Al Hadidiya, father Odeh remained with there with the flock of sheep, in the open. Whom did this family bother in this sparsely populated area?

We then visited Ras Al Ahmar, with Ruwaida’s family, whose tent, refrigerator, kitchen and electric panels have twice been demolished by the “most moral army in the world”…

We drove up to Jewish settler-colony Hemdat, next to Khalat Makhoul. This was a stable, well paved and easily driven road. Unlike the terrible rocky track that leads to Bourhan’s place, who has been living here for at least 50 years, or the dirt track leading to Abu Saker’s place which in the winter is impossible for driving because the clay soil turns into a veritable bog. Abu Saker had paid privately for several gravel trucks 3 years ago and with our help tried to pave a track so that the school bus would reach his encampment in the winter to pick up his children for school. A mere month went by and the Israeli army came and completely destroyed the track, and proceeded to raise a tall dirt dyke at the entrance to the track. The reason – Abu Saker has no permit to pave a track. And permits, as we well know, are not issued to Palestinians living in Area C, ever since 1967.

The settler-colonist outpost of Menachen - and the hills youth who are on regular supply to harass the neighboring Palestinians – is illegal, unapproved even by the occupation authorities, and the track to it is just as illegal as Abu Saker’s. Edicts of ceasing building and evacuation hover over all of them. Would anyone even conceive of destroying or preventing this particular track?? And with my and other Israelis’ tax money, yet…!