Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills

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Daphna Y.,  Yehudit K. (reporting), Leah S. (guest) , Muhammad D.  Translator: Natanya

We left at 09.30 after Meitar Checkpoint was  no longer under such pressure We checked at the entrance to the sleeveinfo-icon.  There was no traffic and we only saw a few illegal workers along Highway 60. The road itself is pretty empty.

We turned onto Route 317 on the way to the village of Tuwani, where there were been some unpleasant events last week. We met Nasser and and his son Bassam who just recently completed law school at Hebron University and now is looking for a place to do his internship.

Bassam told us about the invasion of the village on the night of 11.09. Beyond the physical damage caused (demolitions) tents, concrete structures and caravans were destroyed and left 27 people and 13 children homeless. Also cisterns were destroyed  and roads blocked, people were arrested and there was at least one injured person in need to be hospitalized in the hospital at Yatta. The demolitions were in villages destined for demolition because of being in firing zones. This is even though they have lived in the area for over 100 years and well before the establishment of the state. The villages are in Masafer Yata: Khalet A-Daba, Mufakara, Shaab al Butum and Jinba.

Tuwani, is a more established village, with an organizing committee and, in recent years, there is a center for tourists which brought many international organizations to the place. Bassam said the visits lately were not so frequent. The center included a small gallery of pictures which showed frequent attacks of the settlers from the nearby Havat Maon outpost. There was also a handicraft shop of objects which the women of the village had made. Today the place seems to be neglected, and there are signs of a renovation which was not completed. 

Leah recorded Bassam: Due to technical difficulties the recording will be sent separately (with apologies).

See the article by Amira Hass on the subject: in Haaretz of 17.9.

We continued to Umm el Kheir, a poor village of which all the homes except for two are under the threat of demolition. The settlement of Carmel is pushing them eastwards. There we met a group of the Good Shepher Collective. They are a group of activists for human rights, Palestinian and internationals. They say that they are different from other groups in the area as is explained in their web site

They try to open a kindergarten in the village. There is a fenced-in area and a nice yard for the children but they lack the necessities and so it is not active.