Khalet Makhul: Short and quiet accompaniment

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Y., Shahar Shiloh (Report & photos), Translation:  Danah Ezekiel Clark

On Sunday morning, I arrived with Y. to accompany shepherds in Makhul. Because it was very cold the shepherds were in no hurry to go out. They also knew that the grazing would be short because there was not much grass, and the herd would return home on its own initiative because they were hungry and thirsty.

At the home of B. and S., we met two potential volunteers from Brit Amim, who came to get acquainted with the area. After lots of tea we set off,  at about 08:30. We walked along one of the wadis that stretched from Makhul  to the east, near the military base and the Hemdat settlement. The ground is covered with a thin layer of green vegetation, in contrast to the hills near the shepherd community, which are still exposed. We did not see nor hear any army or settlers. We reached the side of the hill overlooking the army's ranges.

The herd started turning back. We helped the couple feed the animals and prepare the place where the truck unloads barley. Then we sat down for breakfast. During the meal, B. said he thinks that in a few years' time what happened on Saturday in Ein al-Hilweh would happen in the area - a violent incident in which settlers from several outposts attacked Palestinian shepherds together. Lately when a settler from an outpost wants to attack, he summons his friends from nearby outposts. B. is worried about it.

We left the place around 13:00 after taking the time to spend some time with the family.