Yatta is a city located in the South Hebron Hills region. It is located in the border zone between the fertile area of Hebron and its surroundings and the desert of the Hebron Hills. Yatta has about 64,000 inhabitants. The surrounding villages are called Masafar Yatta (Yatta's daughter villages). Their inhabitants subsist on livestock and agriculture. Agriculture is possible only in small plots, especially near streams. Most of the area consists of rocky terraces.
Since the beginning of the 1980s, a number of settlements have been established on the agricultural land cultivated by the Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills region: Carmel, Maon, Susia, Masadot Yehuda, Othniel, and more. Since the settlements were established and Palestinians cultivation areas have been reduced; the residents of the South Hebron Hills have been suffering from harassment by the settlers. Attempts to evict and demolish houses have continued, along with the withholding of water and electricity. The military and police usually refrain from intervening in violent incidents between settlers and Palestinians do not enforce the law when it comes to the investigation of extensive violent Jewish settlers. The harassment in the South Hebron Hills includes attacking and attempting to burn residential tents, harassing dogs, harming herds, and preventing access to pastures.
There are several checkpoints in the South Hebron Hills, on Routes 317 and 60. In most of them, no military presence is apparent, but rather an array of pillboxes monitor the villages. Road blocks are frequently set up according to the settlers and the army's needs. These are located at the Zif Junction, the Dura-al Fawwar crossing, and the Sheep Junction at the southern entrance to Hebron.
Updated April 2022