South Mount Hebron: Zanuta: Settlers rampage with Palestinia

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Smadar B., Michal C. (films and reports)
Seriously? Does this make us safer? Jewish Terror

Following the horrific events taking place in Masafer Yatta since October 7th we drove to Zanuta and Susiya.

In Zanuta we found frightened and angry villagers and a destroyed and dismembered village. They had to demolish their own homes and leave within 24 hours. The colonists and soldiers threatened them with murder if they don’t. People took apart everything they could, and loaded vehicles with their belongings. They are leaving for Yatta. Someone says 7 colonists jumped him and beat him up, his whole body still hurts. We sense hostility towards us although we came to express our solidarity, and it is understood – we are representatives of the occupying state and did nothing to prevent this amok.

We drove to Susiya after a long phone talk with Azam on the previous evening. He told us about the recent weeks. He said that right after the disaster in the Israeli communities near Gaza, bulldozers came to Susiya and piled up soil and rock dykes, as the photos show.

Since they are under siege, we brought them crates with basic food stuffs.

People tell us that lately groups of colonists come to them wearing army uniforms. They beat doors, threaten and demand that the villagers leave. Get out. For days now they have been coming 4-5 times a day, running wild, forcing their entry into homes, saying they look for weapons. They trash everything and go.

We met people who are sad and exhausted, but also determined – expulsion has lain like a sword on their necks for years now. They are experienced in this struggle. Sumud (holding on to the land).

“I’m angry at the Zanouta villagers”, Azam says. “They are cowards. They are a large village. Why did they give up and leave so fast?” He says that tonight the colonists didn’t come and he could finally sleep, after not sleeping for 24 hours. We met Yehuda Shaul there, of Breaking the Silence, with a large group of journalists from Italy and France, and Nasser was telling them the history of the place. We were glad to hear that he as well as other volunteers spend nights there so the villagers would not be alone. Here’s hoping that constant presence of civilians deters and affects the vandals.

There was also the clown-policewoman Azoulay-Things-will-look up, and she played and had fun with the children.


While we were sitting with Wadeha and Azam in their yard, soldiers on patrol came, their guns pointed, demanding that the journalists’ van be moved. They found an excuse to come… and left when they saw such a large number of people standing with the villagers.

That’s what it’s like the whole time. Nights, masked uniform-wearers come too, but the scar on one of their foreheads was not hidden. They giggle and say the name of the violent colonist from Havat Talya, who now has much authority in the region.

The Palestinians are good people, noble and brave. They are struggling constantly over their right to live on their land. They realize that everything happening now is motivated by the wish to avenge the horrors that Hamas wreaked on the Israeli communities near Gaza.

Returning to our vehicle, parked far because of the blockages, a large group of soldiers was standing there. Some of them colonists in uniform. The foreign journalists spoke with them too. One of the soldiers stood and waved his hands, his body language violent and hostile. He pointed to me and said in English – I am speaking about that woman.

What about her? I asked.

I am telling them you are worse than Hamas. What kind of a Jew are you, how can you visit Palestinians in time of war and help them? I would prefer to have coffee with them, not with you…

They are Hamas? I ask. What has this war to do with them? What have they done to you? Ever heard of humanism and human rights?

He answers: For me they are all potential Hamas. We have to be cautious with all of them. Where are you from?

From Omer, I answer.

Ah, from Omer (near Beer Sheva). Let’s see you talk like that when they come from Tel Sheva to slaughter you. Don’t they harass you all the time?

Mohammad, our driver and friend, who always stands aside, silent, finally blew up.

What nonsense! We are with her. Don’t you know there are Bedouins among the Israelis killed and taken hostage? We are all with you. I am a Bedouin. Shame on you.

The ‘brave’ colonist was embarrassed and finally shut up. Soldiers stood around listening silently. We noticed a young reserves soldier who made it obvious that the situation did not suit him. We talked. He was called up three weeks ago.

How do you feel about such a mission? we asked. He answered: I am supposed to protect the Jews, but I feel like a kindergarten teacher here. Apparently, he is a kibbutz member from Ayelet Hashachar (and we have common acquaintances…) and was briefed to secure the colonists and treat Palestinians as a potential danger.

According to the happenings here these last few weeks, the army is not holding the colonists back. The government and army authorities ignore the colonist rampages who are creating a new reality in the South Hebron Hills and throughout the West Bank.