Monday, July 13, 2009

The Top Ten Reason Ma'on and Havot Ma'on Have Got to Go

Reason Number Six: Continued Settlement Expansion Threats the Ability of Palestinians to Stay in the South Hebron Hills

On June 25th 2009, two shepherds, ages 15 and 16, were arrested just outside of their homes. Their crime? Israeli police charged them with grazing inside the municipal boundaries of Ma'on settlement. What the police neglected to say is that their home, the village the Tuba, is within meters of the boundaries Ma'on has declared. For these boys and their families, Ma'on presence and continued expansion, represents a dire threat to their way of life.

(Map of Tuba and Tuwani, showing Ma'on's boundaries)

Palestinians like these shepherds are already struggling to make a living raising sheep and farming in the South Hebron Hills. The root of their poverty is simple – Palestinians can't access their land. Ma'on and Havot Ma'on already take up a huge swatch of land Palestinians used to plant, harvest, and graze. Because settlers regularly attack Palestinians, the amount of land that shepherds and farmers can safely access is even further limited. If the settlements continue to expand, a la Netenyahu's plan for their 'natural growth', it may become impossible for Palestinians to stay here.

The continued expansion of Ma'on and Havot Ma'on is a slow, silent form of ethnic cleansing.

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