Masafer Yatta – disruption of Palestinians’ life while the army is training

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Muhammad and Ariela (reporting and photographing); Translator: Natanya
מסאפר יטא - הצבא מתאמן והתושבים סגורים בבתיהם
דרום הר חברון

This time we decided to drive through the Negohot checkpoint. Two soldiers came out to us and asked where we were going. When we said we were on our way to Kiryat Arba we were not allowed to pass. The entrance to Kiryat Arba is forbidden through this checkpoint (for leftisits?) and we have to travel through Tarkumiya. There are new, stricter regulations, we were informed. I assume that these regulations apply only to us.

We turned around and drove to the Meitar checkpoint.

On the way, Muhammad received a phone call from Jimba. A curfew was imposed on them. The army put up a checkpoint at the entrance leading to the house and forbade them to leave their house. They can watch the merry-go-round exercise through the tent the army has set up in front of the house (a photo taken by Aziz).

We returned to the Meitar checkpoint. There we were not asked wherefore or way. The parking lot was full. We turned onto Road 358 in the direction of the settlement Tene Omarim.

On the way that passes through the Ramadin tribe, crops are harvested by hand, as if not a few hundred years have passed. Even the short road to Dahariya is still closed. Nothing has changed in the recent years here. 

But Tene Omarim a big change! The new neighborhood was completed and I think it was completely inhabited. A few more houses are nearing completion and will surely be inhabited soon.

According to Wikipedia, Tene Omarim is a settlement and community settlement in the southern Hebron Mountains, belonging to the Mount Hebron Regional Council established in 1984. The locality has about 200 families and includes secular and religious. The site of the settlement states that Tene Omarim is a community settlement in the Yatir region of the Negev, where secular, religious and traditionalists live in harmony….

Nothing is said or thought about the Palestine neighbors. This is how they advertise themselves plus the fact that they have a 7% income tax rebate. Nothing about occupied territory. The settlement is part of the Negev and is immersed entirely in greenery with an amazing view. (I have no argument about that). 

We left Tene Omarim on the way to the Eshkolot. A settlement built on Palestinian land, but in order not to be in Palestinian territory, the separation wall surrounds the settlement so that it will be in Israeli territory. The water tower of Eshkolot can be seen through the wall and the barbed wire fences.

On the way back to the Meitar checkpoint, you can see how full the parking lot is on the Palestinian side. Muhammad's sharp eyes also spotted two buses in the parking lot, indicating a visit by families of prisoners. According to Muhammad, another terminal is now being built at the crossing, perhaps due to the congestion that has arisen due to the closureinfo-icon of loopholes in the fence and perhaps also due to the issuance of more work permits

On the way Nasser from At-Tuwani called Muhammad and said that they had built a protest tent against the military exercise in Khalet al-Daba’. The DCO ordered them to demolish the tent, but as we spoke, they had not yet demolished the tent.

When will this horror end?