Susiya - The Palestinian residents are living in a state of constant dread.

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Ariela (report), Muhammed (photography), Judith Green (translation)

At the Meitar checkpoint there is lively movement of trucks in both directions.  The parking lot on the Palestinian side is empty.  This situation has remained the same since October 7.  We traveled in the direction of Susiya, in order to visit 'Azam.

Israeli flags were waving proudly on Route 60.  "Decorations" which appeared at the beginning of the war.  At the Meitarim junction, at the entrance to road 317 which goes to Susiya, there were new warriors, this time not manned with soldiers. Another war decoration, in addition, of course, to a blockade of all the entrances to the Palestinian villages, including the dirt roads on which there was already a difficult entry. 

We went past what was, until recently, Maktel Am-Salem.  Now there are Israeli flags there. We went past the Kaplan Farm, belonging to the settler who had banished Abu Safi from the cave which was his home.   The Farm was enlarged and developed, and they have both electricity and water.  The settlement of Asael also is growing and flourishing.

Along the way, we saw a tractor arrive and we thought how good it was that the Palestinians were able to dig furrows again;  but then it became clear that the tractor was bringing things to Samu' and, since the roads were blocked to Palestinians, they were crossing the road by foot with all their merchandise on their backs and a babyinfo-icon in their arms.

At the turn of road 317 toward ancient Susiya there is a new military post.  We got to 'Azam.  Of course, the entrance to the village was blocked with sandpiles.  He told us that, a day before our arrival, a woman of about 40 from the village went down to the grazing land on her family's land.  Three soldiers went down and arrested her.  She was released after 2 hours and the police claimed that she had been arrested because she did not identify herself.  She was released only after she had been identified.

The same evening, a group of 6 men arrived, along with 2 dogs, at the house of Nasser Nuada, frightened his wife and children who were in the house and then left.   The same night, at 1 AM,  Amishav Peled returned from Susiya with the 2 dogs.  It seems as though the experience of scaring the children gave him a lift in spirits.

On Shabbat, young settlers arrived at the entrance of the village in order to have a good time dancing to celebrate the siege which had been declared against the village, while the grownups stood watch over them from a distance.

According to 'Azam, they are living in a state of constant dread.  He said if everyone, at every moment, could come and harass them, they "feel in constant mortal danger, every day, every hour".  This is the same 'Azam who, in a previous visit, said that he still saw a ray of light shining in the gloom...