Accompanying Shepherds – Khalat Makhoul

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Eyal Winter and Micki Fisher (report)

We arrived at Y.’s home at Khalat Makhoul at 7:30 a.m. We found the women milking the flock and watering it before leaving, as Y. and his sons were busy cutting the fleece of some of the sheep.

We left around 8 a.m. with H., Y.’s elder son, and his brother – accompanying a flock of 200 sheep and goats. The heat and the Ramadan fast made them decide not to go too far. We passed by two hill ranges and around 9 a.m. we sat down with the shepherds, while the flock scattered in a field that had just been harvested and much stubble had been left for the sheep. At around 10 a.m. Y. arrived with a water tanker attached to a tractor and watered the sheep.

As far as we understood from the shepherds, here the army and colonists do not harass them yet, but they still feel safer when we are present at the grazing.

The heat increased and the thirst of the shepherds, fasting for Ramadan, became difficult. They began to move back, taking care that their sheep would not enter grazing fields of other Palestinians, their neighbors.

At 12 we returned to the encampment, took leave of the shepherds and drove back.

We wish all grazing days would end up this way, without fear of colonists and the Israeli army, lords of the occupied land.