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Dozens of Palestinian and Israeli demonstrators at Bil’in called for the release of Jonathan Pollak and all the political detainees held in Israeli prisons; Two Palestinian shepherds from En Hilwa (Palestinian Jordan Valley) have been held in custody since Friday (Janbuary 31) after Jewish settler-colonists falsely accused them to attacking them; A tractor preparing ground for a playground at Susya was confiscated by the occupation forces; activists participated in an action protesting the plan to annex the Palestinian Jordan Valley to the State of Israel;
The Palestinian Jordan Valley
At Auja shepherds were accompanied by activists to the grazing grounds most weekdays at this time, unhampered. On Friday the Israeli army prevented the grazing by producing a ‘closed military zone’ order.
In the north of the region activists accompanied shepherds around Farsiya and Samra, and this went quietly. In contrast, shepherds who go out unaccompanied by Israeli activists are exposed to harassment by the army and the settler-colonists. On Wednesday (January 29) the security official of settler-colony Rotem chased away shepherds from En Al Hilwa who were grazing very far from the colony, and far from the area he is authorized to ‘protect’. On Friday, January 31, the army arrested two shepherds from En Al Hilwa on grounds of a false report by settler-colonists that the shepherds attacked them. As of today, Sunday, February 2, the shepherds are still held in custody.
On Wednesday, January 29, Israeli activists participated in actions protesting plans to annex the Palestinian Jordan Valley.
On Friday, January 31, a protest procession took place from the village towards the Separation Fence on the land of Bil’in village, attended by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists. They called for the release of Jonathan Pollak and all the political prisoners held in Israel. During this demonstration tires were burnt, and the army responded with teargas.
South Hebron Hills
On Monday, January 27, the Israeli occupation forces confiscated a tractor that was working to prepare a playground near the Susya schoolhouse. On Saturday, February 1, Israeli soldiers tried to prevent a Palestinian family from approaching its lands at Umm Al Arais, but after the family members insisted on their right to be there, the soldiers were forced to look into the matter with their superiors and gave up their intention to chase the family away.
At the same time, Taayush activists accompanied shepherds at Umm Al Imad, and helped with farm work near the village of Tawane. Other groups of activists helped with works at Sarura on Saturday.