Masafer Yatta – settler harassment

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Smadar (reporter) and Muhammad. Editing: Mira Balaban; Translator: Natanya
ח'לת א-דבע - סמדר מתעדת את דבריו של ג'אבר

Route 317:
Asael: an old wild outpost (established about twenty years ago) south of the road, near the industrial area Meitar. Included in the outposts planned to be approved by the state. We noticed a new stone fence, visible from the road.

Khalet a-Daba’:
Our destination, Khalet a-Daba’. The village has about 80 residents, most of them children. The village was slated for demolition at the end of 2022, but so far, it has not been done. On the road from Route 60 to the road leading to Abigail and Mufaqara, a Hummer Jeep loaded with soldiers.

In Khalet a-Daba’ we met Jaber Dababsa. When we asked what has been going on in the village lately, he points to a tractor and a trailer southeast of the Ma'on farm. He says that there is a sheep herd there. In his opinion, it is a settler from Ma'on Farm. Regularly, shepherds from Safai, Tuba and El Abud, are expelled by the settlers and the army that backs them up.
Sometimes the border guard also cooperates with the settlers.

Jaber continues to say that 8 days ago dozens of settlers, from Mitzpe Yair and Abigail came. One of the settlers entered Khalet a-Daba’, a camerainfo-icon on his forehead to record, and demanded to search the place, when he claimed that their sheep had been lost and they suspected that the people of the village were the thieves. Jaber made it clear to him that he should not come without the police. After half an hour, settlers arrived, riding 3 ATVs, a Savanna model vehicle (a large vehicle) and a van.
Jaber told them again that only the soldiers and the police would be allowed to conduct a search.
Those who helped were activists from abroad who called the police. The police arrived and demanded that the settlers leave.
A story follows a story, and here is another case. Jaber's 11-year-old nephew was grazing his father's sheep. A settler scared the boy who fell. His father filed a complaint with the police. Of course, nothing happened with the complaint.
A few days ago, soldiers arrived, broke the Palestinian flags that are permanently on the fence surrounding the village and a sign. In the meantime, new flags were put up.
At night there are always some of the residents who sleep outside, guarding against the settlers who come frequently into the village. For 6 days they came in a row.

From there we went to Mufaqara. We met Mahmud Hamamda, who invited us to hear from him about the situation. There were  2 young women, one from Portugal and one from Germany. They are independent, making a documentary film about the occupation. I told about the Watch Watch and the importance of spreading the subject of the occupation in the world. They were accompanied by Ali Awwad, the activist from Tuba.
Ali talked about an inspector from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority ,Yedidia Talia, from the infamous Talia farm.  According to Jaber, he extorts large sums of money from Palestinians who collect ‘Akub for their livelihood.
Muhammad Hamamda also tells about an increase in the frequency of arrivals of settlers with the backing of the army, since the government changed about 3 months ago.
There is no doubt that the settlers' security was strengthened following the new government's policy.