South Hebron Hills, Fri 15.5.09, Morning
Empty and deserted. There are no vehicles and we, too, pass through unchecked and unquestioned.
We join a group of people who came to escort the herdsmen of Um el-Hir with their sheep.
I'd's family tent is right on the fence of the settlement Carmel.
A new neighborhood was erected in the settlement and a wide pathway was paved to it – this is the settlement's pathway and U'm el-Hir residents have been warned, not to cross it or enter the settlement (there's obviously no fence).
I'd and his family earn their living off herding and some agriculture.
We walk with them across the hills, towards Ein Zeitim – one of the valleys between Carmel and Ma'on. They have not yet been to these land-patches and the grass is higher and denser there than it is in the other patches.We make a very big detour, to avoid the settlement and the herdsmen are visibly tense, fearing the settlers' attack.
Happily enough, today its peaceful here and, after more than hour's walk, we reach the aforementioned valley.
There is no water-source (Ein) or any olives (Zeitim), but there is tea, and some cakes, and the mood is cheerful.
On our way back, we stop by a well. I'd explains that no one has been to this well since 2000. Unfortunately, the herdsmen didn't believe that they could possibly reach it today, so none of them brought any pales or vessles, to carry the water in.
All we could do, therefore, is to admire the water from up high.The way back is shorter.
The herdsmen master their courage and we walk along the road.
The day is nice and many people can be seen along the road. People are enjoying the pleasant, springy weather. The owners of wells and water-tanks have begun to earn some living. The green tracks can be seen all over.
Summer arrived and the Palestinians have to pay dearly for their water.
I've once read on the internet that the Palestinians use the least water per capita relative to the entire Middle East.
Almost empty of passengers.
Zif junction is open, and the Sheep's Junction, Dura Elfawwar, and the entry to Samo'a – all those CPs are open, but the rubble blockages are in place. In several places, we can see that the tractor was working there very recently, raising those hips.