Update | 7.12.2019

July Updates

The Israeli Civil Administration is currently in what appears to be another wave of strategic, precision-type strikes to Palestinian infrastructure across the West Bank, most notably in the South Hebron Hills and in the Jordan Valley. Mobilizing in real-time, sending out Good Shepherd Collective field workers to record and document the process of colonization has been particularly difficult the last few weeks. With the community of Um al-Khair under a renewed threat of the demolition for 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.

To recap the last few weeks:

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 Hathaleenwas attacked by two Israeli military informants. on the way to home demolitions in Masafer Yatta, breaking his camera and taking his cell phone.

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 villages agricultural facilities.

On July 3rd, bulldozers traveled to the South Hebron Hills alongside Israeli military, stopping 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..

Then on July 7th, Regavim–the right-wing Israeli NGO that is behind the wave of demolitions in the South Hebron Hills–carried out a fear-mongering tactic as a means of generating and consolidating settler political support.Here, Regavim is literally hanging up Palestinian flags in the West Bank to display the threat of “Palestinians taking over Area C”..

This is the fascism that the Good Shepherd Collective working against on a daily basis, as we continue to try to mobilize local Palestinian communities, Israelis, and international Jewish activists to work against the mechanisms that underpin Regavim’s unlawful actions.

Next steps

I know that for some, this recap is redundant, but 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.

As the Good Shepherd Collective views the ongoing violence as a program of settler colonialism and not as a conflict, our analysis focuses on the many individual, but interconnected pieces that either perpetuate the displacement of indigenous communities or commodify them and their natural resources as a means of economic gain. Through this analysis, we see the right-wing Israeli NGO Regavim as one of the major actors in the settler-colonial movement. As such, we are methodically building a coalition of local Palestinian communities to push forth this campaign in partnership with other organizations, civic groups, collectives, and people of conscience.

You can support this campaign in tangible ways by signing up to give a personal testimony on your experiences with this system of settler colonialism–whether by video or written mediums–and submitting them to the Good Shepherd Collective.

Secondly, we need volunteer graphic design editors for production of content and video editors to help with this massive amount of personal testimony.

Of course, we will also need people organizing on the ground in the United States as part of the campaign to slow down and decrease the money flowing into Regavim’s bank account.

If you can’t support in these direct ways, you can make a financial investment into this campaign to help cover our transportation and communication costs.

If you are a US citizen wishing to make a tax-deductible donation, you can do so through our fiscal sponsors in the United States, the Alliance for Global Justice.. If you are in the UK, you can make a donation through the British Shalom-Salaam Trust.. For all others, you can make a direct donation to the Good Shepherd Collective here..