Znuta - a tiny village without infrastructure

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Sثmadar and Michal (reporting and photographing); Translator: Natanya
הבניין העתיק שהיה פעם מסגד
בית המועצה והמרפאה בזנותא

This time we focused on this small settlement whose story once again represents everything that is happening in the southern Hebron hills as well. It is a 10-minute drive from the Meitar checkpoint and a ten-minute drive from Meitarim Industrial Park and the Southern Hebron Mountain Regional Council.

We came there because Nasser from Susiya said they also had received demolition orders. A small town of about 300 people. We have been there several times to see  the school which they set up within theTahaddi - Challenge (the challenge is to the Israeli government which destroys any new school which is built, sometimes waiting until it has actually been built to destroy it) The establishment of schools in each community is against the government orders as they do not receive permits to build. But the community tries to make it easier for children who have to walk miles to the schools  and often have to cross busy roads at the risk of their lives  (we have written about this more than once). This time we came to the settlement itself because of the demolition orders. A small and shabby settlement. We arrived at the council building and next to it a similar building that was supposed to be a clinic (rundown huts and  not buildings). We met the head of the council who works for his living as a nurse at a hospital in Hebron. More residents joined us. They have recently received interim injunctions, Meaning: Existing structures will not be demolished but nothing must be expanded, changed or renovated. The head of the council is an educated and energetic young man who says that their families have lived there since the days of the Turks. And over the years the court has thwarted plans to evict them to Dahariya. (Often the areas to which they are ordered to move are towns which are already filled to bursting point. In some cases also the inhabitants of these villages do not want to receive them). They feel the state is in a hurry to act during the time gap created between Trump and what is expected from the Biden administration. Suddenly the settlers are very active in trying to  remove them and to clear the area so as to expand the settlements. In their case they think the desire to create and industrial park and expand is the reason.

The wadi separates them and it is there that they graze their flocks. And the sewage comes down there into the wadi from the industrial park buildings and the Palestinians suffer from the terrible smell (and who is to say that it will not bring disease)/

Water? From wells. Electrical power?  This they get from the photoelectric panels, gifts from European organizations. Sanitary conditions are not for them.

Poor and ridiculous little buildings which are a problem for the Israeli authorities.

He shows me an ancient stone structure which was once a mosque and they want to renovate it. But this of course is not allowed

They asked if we could bring journalists to them because it is important for them to tell their whole story and that of the neighboring communities which are experiencing the same thing (This will never get into the Israeli media). I said we would try very hard and would hope that we could do it.

I talked to Raya who said she would try to interest the press.

The trend of deportation and the overcrowding of populations into small areas so as to allow expansion of the settlements, cries to the heavens.

Luckily everything is green and beautiful around now. How beautiful it could have been here if there had also been humanity and justice