A quiet day with the Bedouin shepherds at Rashash

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Rita Mendes-Flohr reporting; Guy Hircefeld driving, with Amitai Ben Abba and Omer.


A quiet day with the Bedouin shepherds at Rashash, in the occupied territories along the Alon road. The settlers from the illegal outpost "Angels of Peace' did not show up today to harass them.

We arrived a little after six am, and sat on an overlook, where we could see the settlers as soon as they got on top of the ridge, and let the shepherds roam freely past this friction point. Indeed no settlers arrived, not on horseback and not in their all terrain vehicles. Nor did the army come to impose the “firing zone” which they tend to overlook when it comes to the settlers and their flock.

If I say , "Bedouin", (and not Palestinian) and "settlers", so many of you can empathize, think it is important work that Ta'ayush תעאיוש تعايشTorat Tzedekand Machsom Watch - מחסום ווטש are doing to protect the Bedouin from those aggressive settlers, especially when they are from unrecognized outposts - the unruly hilltop youth,

But this is Palestinian land, Area C, that the authorities in Israel are eager to rid of all Palestinians and ultimately annex. This is a whole system that plays into the authorities' hands, where they themselves do not have to do the expulsion and face international sanctions - it is convenient to let the hilltop youth do the dirty work of attacking the Palestinians. And then the army comes in and declares it a firing zone, a nature reserve or simply a closed military area to keep out the Palestinians and thus laying the ground for another 'legal' settlement.

It seems now that those hilltop outposts are an ideal solution for how the society can deal with difficult, marginal youth, dropouts from all educational frameworks, and one wonders if they are not even referred to those hilltop outposts by some agency or nonprofit organization....

Later we went to Uja, to visit a Bedouin shepherd family – it was already close to 11, and they were already back with their sheep, as in the summer heat they go out early and return early. But it is important to keep in touch, and hear their report of the grazing in the past week – apparently it has been quiet there too.