What are people more afraid of - the settlers, or the coronavirus?
The West Bank is in lockdown until Wednesday. We asked the families whom we wanted to visit if they could see us. They said that they could if we wore masks and kept a distance.
No one has been found to have Covid-19 in the valley yet. People are extremely afraid of the disease. One case was discovered in Tubas, the regional town,
All the roads in the West Bank and in the Palestinian Jordan Valley were empty.
We visited families in Khalat Makhul and Ein el Hilweh. In one home, a woman was ill and ran a fever, but she did not want to go to Tubas to receive treatment because she was afraid she would be infected with the coronavirus.
In Ein Al Hilweh people told us about a settler who had put up an outpost opposite the settlement of Maskiot, and was bothering them, won't let them graze their flocks, on both the west and the east sides of the road. The army and the police support him and make the herdsmen leave. We asked them why don’t they appeal to Taayush to accompany them to the grazing area, and the explained that they were afraid of being infected with the coronavirus.
All the checkpoints were empty.
The financial situation of the shepherds in the Palestinian Jordan Valley is growing worse.
The longer the coronavirus crisis and the financial crisis that accompanies it continues, the worse their situation gets. Even in normal times, their financial situation is dire.
The shepherds earn their living from selling mutton and beef, and when everyone is having a difficult time financially, no one buys meat and the prices go down. The shepherds have a hard time paying for basic food items such as flour and rice.