Palestinian Jordan Valley

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Daphne Banai, Nurit Popper, Omri Baranes, Ido, Johanna – guest from Switzerland


The colonists’ harassments of the Palestinian residents of the Palestinian Jordan Valley are rapidly on the increase


21.2.17 הכבשים עוברות בקרבת המאחז.jpg
Sheep grazing near the illegal outpost

“Terror is a tactic of violent struggle, directed mostly at civilians, to achieve political-social goals” (Dr. Boaz Ganor)

The Palestinian Jordan Valley suffers under a cruel, dispossessing, destructive occupation that denies humans and animals water just because they are Palestinian – an occupation meant to expel the local population and hand the land over to members of the master race who believe they deserve it all.
Still, quite surprisingly, there was hardly any violence there at all. The Palestinians held their heads down and persisted, holding on to this harsh place.
All this changed 5 months ago when colonists, accompanied by the “hilltop youths” (common appellation of national religious teenage boys, often dropouts from various educational facilities, who spend time in the colonies and take an active – even leading – role in harassing Palestinians) settled on the hill above Al Hama. The army and police  collaborate by demolishing the older Palestinian encampment, turns a blind eye to the colonist actions and supports the outpost which is not only illegal by any law, it is not even approved by the extra-rightist Israeli government.

The colonists realized that no one stops them and have proceeded to phse 2 – harassing Palestinians. In past weeks their assaults of Palestinians have become a daily occurrence. And they have also erected yet another outpost – in the Umm Zuka nature reserve, where they also exert terror on the civilian population.

As soon as they put up a dwelling structure and a livestock pen, they proceeded to assault non-violent civilian residents who have never hurt anyone. Time and again those sidecurled bandits arrive on their horses, carrying firearms, and assault helpless shepherds who dare not defend themselves, for if they do – that racist police that remains silent in the face of Jewish violence would arrive and help the assailants. And you remain silent?

We phoned the police several times, spoke with Elinor and Yarden, but it is not their job to protect the Palestinians, defying international law that expects them to protect a helpless civilian population.

Today we arrived at Al Hama after being informed by phone that 10 colonists came to the pasture (private Palestinian-owned, as we were told) and attacked the shepherds and the sheep, throwing stones at them. 3 days ago 2 sheep were murdered this way, and one goat wounded. Today A. was wounded in his ankle (see photo).  It’s not a large wound but he is suffering from a very painful ankle.

When we arrived, the colonists ran off, but on our way to the pasture we were called by R. who told us the colonists reached his further field. We hurried there, and the colonists ran off from there too upon our arrival. Until the afternoon we sat together with 8 shepherds on the hill, overlooking a beautiful landscape, beside a small campfire to brew tea, and in the company of 2000 sheep and about 100 cows… But one could sense the terror in the air the whole time.

Those brave shepherds will continue to go up to their grazing fields (what other choice have they? Bountiful rain has finally fallen and the pasture is greener than it has been for years, abounding with food for the sheep and cattle – how could they not graze?)

But who bears the results of the terror exerted by the Jewish colonist, at the end of the day?

After all of this we passed by to say hello to our friends at Makhoul. There too, the new colonists have paid a visit. Those from the nature reserve, so I was told. “Go away, this is not your land” they said. But our host’s brothers arrived, they cleared out fast.

It is now obvious that all the shepherd communities here are in danger of the two new colonist outposts and the criminals who inhabit them.

Furthermore –on our way back we saw an army jeep and soldiers in the encampment of the two sister-shepherdesses who live below Maskiyot colony. We entered. The sisters were scared to death but claimed that the soldier only came to have a look and drink coffee.

More – on our way home we were phoned by a friend in Bardala, saying that on the way out from Nablus towards Hamra Checkpoint, (but not at the checkpoint proper), 3 soldiers stopped traffic and long waiting lines were forming. People were delayed there for 4 hours. We called the DCO war-room and after 20 minutes the soldiers opened passage. I don’t believe this had to do with our intervention.


הקרסול הפצוע של עודאי.jpg
A.’s wounded ankle


חיילים עורכים ביקור במאהל האחיות בעין אל חילווה 21.2.17.jpg
An army visit to the encampment of two shepherd-sisters at En Al Hilwa​

שור אלינו.