Susiya - “We always say alhamdulillah for the hope”

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Ariela S.(photo), Paula R.(personal report), Mohammed (photo and driving). Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

The 74th day of the war on Gaza and its consequences on the West Bank

I joined this shift after nearly a year during which I had not gone out.   I had decided that it was still not time to stop, as Yael had suggested, and I joined Ariela   whom I have been following since she photographed the elaborate garden belonging to Wadha.   

Our objective was to visit A-Tuwani and Susiya. For me the drive there was the main part of the visit.

Route 317

Where are the rujums? no rujums; These are stone towers that farmers used to mark the borders of their fields since Biblical days. These no longer exist. Instead of the fields that Palestinian farmers tend and care for, there are now fields cultivated by the settler-terrorists and there is no access to them because there is now a fence along the road.   

In addition to the fences there are now dirt embankments and stones along the road. This is how the siege is getting tighter.  

There were no Palestinian vehicles on the road except for many dozens of vehicles/ 'Mashtuba' cars without license plates that were confiscated by the army from the Palestinians and are now being driven by soldiers.   The photo shows the exit from A-Tuwani in front of Carmel, part of the Mashtuba convoy led by a soldier..  


We were met by Nasser Adra and we were later joined by his son Bassal, who is an activist in B’Tzelem and was interviewed by Christiane Amanpour from the CNN.    He spoke about what is happening in Hebron and the South Hebron Hills.  The interview was broadcast yesterday.   He emphasized that the settler militias are doing everything they can to promote unrest in the area.  He sent us a photo of a teacher who was beaten but he had no details of the incident. 

It is possible to enter the town of Yatta only from one direction and hopefully no one will be in need of an ambulance or emergency vehicle.  


We arrived in Susiya.  Mohammed parked the car in a space in front of the entrance to the village that was surrounded by rocks that were placed there by the army.  The entire village is surrounded by boulders and it is not possible to enter with a vehicle.

We arrived at the home of Azam Wadha and their grandson Eyal (who was named after the tireless volunteer, like there is a little girl named Mira after our Mira). “How are you doing?” “Alhamdulillah (Arabic phrase meaning "praise be to God")” answers Azzam. "We always say alhamdulillah for the hope that at the end of the tunnel a tiny ray of light will shine," says Azzam in his wonderful and rich Hebrew.

It was extremely important to me to make this trip during the shift and to see for myself what is going on.  I adopt the phrase used by Azam about the tiny ray of light, and believe we must not lose hope.