The Jordan Valley: the shepherds children are afraid of the violent settlers

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Micky F, Rachel A., (report, photos) . Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

Palestinian Jordan valley, 19.12.2023

It was a pleasant clear December morning and the valley was green and lovely.  There were no political problems here, and the grass was growing without any feelings of guilt.  We arrived at the valley from the north because travel through the valley is currently dangerous.  This lengthens the trip by another hour.

We came this morning to escort Yusef and his flocks because of the harassment he had received by settlers and by the army.   When we arrived we found out that he was not free this morning to take the flocks out to pasture because a doctor was coming to visit.   Since we had nothing to do we visited the families there and continued on to Parsiya where volunteers were always needed in people’s homes or in the pastures.  We visited all the families in the area and at that time it was quiet throughout the 12-hour work day and there were no incidents.

Later on the army arrived and told the shepherds that the area where they were grazing their flocks  is state land and they would have to find somewhere else to graze their flocks.   There is a new map of the civil administrationinfo-icon and the borders have evidently changed.  What is the problem to move things a little is they can?  

A video with Rima is attached in which she is not afraid to speak openly. 

Here is a general translation.  She does not say anything new, but it is good to hear her speak.

“Of course, life is difficult.  A lot has changed since the war began.  The schools are closed.  Because of meticulous checks at the checkpoints teachers cannot get to school on time so the schools remained closed.    School resumed one day before the exams at the end of the semester.   The exams began the next day regardless of the fact that the students had not learned anything. They don’t understand the material at all and there is no chance that they will pass their exams.  Today, for example, the students came to school but the teachers did not arrive because of the checkpoints, so the exams were cancelled.  I asked how they were managing during the war and she said that they were constantly afraid day and night.  They cannot take their flocks out to pasture.  They are afraid that the children will wander far from home.  Yesterday two settlers came and watched us.  Life is difficult.  Stop the war and let us live our lives.”