South Hebron Hills
At the entrance to the Meitar crossing, we went to see what was happening with the tent set up in the village Sroura, located between Tuwani and Umm Fukara but it is more important to note that it is between the outposts of Avaigail and Havat Maon.
Muhammad al-Amor, one of the villagers, sat with us and told us that village was gradually abandoned and in 1997 the last residents left as well. Now they live in Yatta.
This happened because of the constant molestation of the settlers from Maon who would come down at night on their horses and frightened the people and the flocks with beatings, their weapons and stone throwing. Now with the help and support of the coalition of various organizations in Israel and outside they want to rehabilitate this neglected place and work their lands there again. Therefore they set up a camp which is called “The Camp of Freedom” and in Arabic they called it Zumud. Today they are busy cleaning the land and there is much activity which includes the women and children. They are making bread or sage, signs and matching shirts which have the symbol of a tree on them, a tree which roots are well planted in the land. (The children wear the shirts). They hope that families will return if only to preserve the lands which are the centre of their livelihood. Also visitors from the area have come to support them.
On our way there we saw at several small junctions small groups of two to three soldiers with the Israeli flag flying next to them. Maybe there is some maneuver?