Update | 3.10.2019
The Good Shepherd Collective finished the first harvest from the greenhouse with a healthy yield of cauliflower. It produced enough to distribute to 28 families in Um al-Khair and an additional sum to the surrounding villages in the South Hebron Hills. For a first-time run, there were lessons learned in terms of water consumption, fertilization, and general maintenance. Throughout the growing season, the Good Shepherd Collective held work days for hundreds of individuals, providing a political context while they engaged in joint resistance to the ongoing Israeli settlement expansion.
We will be moving onto the next phase of the agricultural project and planting cucumbers and tomatoes during the next growing season. We’ve already had one plowing day and will be having a couple more to prepare the ground for planting. Currently, we are having some dialogue on whether or not canning the vegetable products will be a viable option to create additional economic activity in the community.
We have organized meetings with nearly 20 villages and community organizations to develop additional strategies for outreach and advocacy campaigns around the recent onslaught of home demolitions, property destruction and settler attacks across the West Bank. We are focusing on raising the voices of the local communities directly as a means to mobilize human rights advocates and advocates globally. We’ve made substantial progress, having worked now from the South Hebron Hills to the Jordan Valley and the other Bedouin communities in East Jerusalem, most notably Khan al-Ahmar.
From Jan 1 to March 11, 106 Palestinian structures have been demolished, displacing some 175 people. Ten of these structures were donor-funded, representing a continued disregard of international humanitarian aid.
Eid Hathaleen, one of the core field workers, is currently on a speaking tour across the United States, visiting several universities, affinity organizations, and politicians to highlight the current situation in the West Bank, focusing on the current wave of home demolitions and displacement.
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In solidarity, the Good Shepherd Collective