Umm Al-Kheir – dozens of settlers and soldiers invade houses, frighten and cause havoc

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Smadar Becker (reporter and photographer) and Muhammad Dabsen (photographer);Translator: Natanya
א-תוואני - חאמד קווסמה נציג האום מחברון עם נאסר עדרה וסמדר
אום אל ח'יר - חבילת סל מזון שמסרנו באום אל ח'יר

A shift to Masafer Yatta

At the Meitarim junction we turned to road 317, towards Umm Al Kheir, to meet Eid who was arrested the day before, and was released in the evening.

We pass the Asael settlement and near it we notice a small sign pointing to Mitzpeh Kedem. The name may not mean much, but this outpost was actually mentioned in the media. On 4.12.23, despite the opposition of Minister Smotrich, the houses of the 2 families who settled there were dismantled, on the orders of General Yehuda Fuchs. And what's new? From what we saw, they renewed their stay at the place. We will continue to follow.

Later, on road 317, pillars were erected and between pillar to pillar there was a connecting wire. It turns out that a new patent has been found to demarcate territory and limit the entry of Palestinians. This is called the Shabbat area, an area that indicates to the Jews how far they are allowed to go on Shabbat and holidays.

We stopped in At-Tuwani to pick up packages we received from the Rabbinical Voice for Human Rights, to bring to some families in Umm Al Kheir. We met Hamed Kawasma, the UN representative, whose seat is in Hebron, and he comes to Masafer Yatta to visit the villages, report and help in cases of difficulty.

Naser Adra tells us about settlers from Avigayil who came accompanied by soldiers to remove Rasmi Abu Aram (the late Harun's father who was shot in the neck by a soldier and suffered a great deal of severe disability and died a year ago).

If it is possible to abuse, then more and more.

We notice a van with an orange lamp on its roof, and another vehicle, between Havat Ma'on and At- Tuwani. We were able to notice and photograph the establishment of a Shabbat area, as had already been established around Avigayil.

We continued to Umm Al Kheir to meet Eid and other relatives of his family. It turns out that Eid left early in the morning for further investigation.

He is accused of interfering with the security forces.

We meet at the Shig where they hosted us, the NRC representatives from Bethlehem, who come to the area often. Ahmad says that the day before our arrival, 14 settlers arrived from the adjacent settlement of Carmel, dressed and equipped as combat soldiers and holding long weapons, as we know from the beginning of the war on October 7. Before their arrival, they activated a drone.

The above-mentioned 14 were joined by 15 soldiers who are not from the settlement, invaded 20 houses and conducted a search that caused disorder and frightened the household members.

6 volunteers came to document and photograph the event, but the army called the police to remove them.

In a post on the page of the extreme right-wing organization Im Tirtzu, "If You Want", an organization very much on the right, it can be seen that its operatives were there and documenting the volunteers known as "anarchists".

The army stayed in the village for four hours, and at the end of the event, Eid was arrested.

We handed over the food packages, clothes and games we brought with us.

The occupation does not rest.