Hebron International Resources Network (HIRN) – by Friends of HIRN
Following an introduction to HIRN in our last edition, we continue friends’ reports which powerfully alert us to the continuing gross injustice in Palestine:-
Friends of HIRN update –
Another friend we met through Hamed is part of an Israeli/Palestinian/internationals venture called The Good Shepherd Collective. This group give ‘on the ground’ support when villagers are facing aggression from the settlers, with the supporting Israeli ‘Defence’ Force adding to the pressure.
This is the latest news about that village featured in the video on the HIRN website last month. Our friend, Cody writes:
“On June 17th, demolitions began in Khalet al Dabeh. with the demolition of a home belonging to Mohammad al Dababsh. In the process, soldiers brutalized Omar al Dababsh, leaving him injured and awaiting the ambulance to arrive and treat his injuries.
“That same day, Good Shepherd Collective field worker Tariq Hathaleen was attacked by two Israeli military informants on the way to house demolitions in Masafer Yatta, breaking his camera and taking his cell phone. (Tariq featured in that video ‘A Boy, a Shepherd and a Bulldozer’).
“The following day on June 18th, the Israeli Civil Administration and the Israeli military entered the village of Um al-Khair, detaining and assaulting village elder Hajj Suleiman..
“The community has viewed this as part of the development of a plan to demolish the community, and subsequently called for an international presence to be permanently encamped in the village.
“On June 20th, two shepherds from the village of Atuwani were attacked by settlers. from the Havat Ma’on outpost while they grazed their sheep.
“On June 26th, the Israeli military carried out demolitions in Deir Ballout., destroying the village’s agricultural facilities.
“On July 3rd, bulldozers moving into the South Hebron Hills alongside Israeli military forces, stopped to bulldoze the public park, located between Khashem Daraj and Um al Khair–a space of particular importance to the communities in the South Hebron, as green spaces are few and far between. During the nonviolent resistance by the local community, Hajj Suleiman was again detained and arrested.. (For a video of the demolitions, click here..)
“On July 4th, the Israeli Civil Administration along with the Israeli military drove to Masafer Yatta, east of Dkaika village and into a nature reserve owned by the Ka’abneh tribe. They blocked the area and did not allow the people of the village, photographers, nor activists to enter before proceeding to uproot approximately two hundred trees, and demolish three water cisterns and about one thousand meters of fencing..
Cody goes on: with the community of Um al-Khair under a renewed threat of the demolition of at least 45 different homes and structures, we’ve had to both maintain a physical international presence in the community and provide support to the outlying areas. This is a pretty big task for a small, gritty organization like ours with only four part-time volunteers and a handful of loyal, unwavering interns.
It is important to understand what these communities are enduring on nearly a daily basis. Furthermore, these instances only represent the few that the Good Shepherd Collective was able to directly observe.
We view the ongoing violence as a program of settler colonialism and not as a conflict; the many individual, but interconnected incidents either perpetuate the displacement of indigenous communities or commodify them and their natural resources as a means of economic gain.
You may not be in a position to help these communities directly, but if you are a UK citizen, you can make a gift-aided donation to GSC through the British Shalom-Salaam Trust.