For 10 years, residents of the Palestinian village of Khirbet Bir al-'Idd in the Hebron area have been living with relatives for fear of being harassed by settlers. Last week, after receiving approval from the Israel Defense Forces, they returned to their homes, but say the attacks were renewed shortly afterwards.
Between the years 1999 and 2000, some 20 families living in the village were forced to evacuate themselves gradually due to repeated cases of harassment by settlers from the Mitzpe Yair outpost, who according to the Palestinians and their representatives in the Rabbis for Human Rights organization harassed them on a regular basis and prevented them from using the road leading to Khirbet Bir al-'Idd.
On Saturday, a lone settler from the illegal outpost of Mitzpeh Yair prevented water access to Palestinians living in Bir el Eid. This is not the first time this has happened. The specific water cistern – dug by Palestinians from Bir el Eid and situated on their privately owned land – has been impossible to pump water out of for months because the settlers from this tiny neighboring outpost of about 10 families are adamant about annexing it (even though the state provides them with their own system of running water).
The summer heat has still not broken in the South Hebron Hills. The sun beat down on us as we were pulled into a violent tug-of-war with Avidan over the hose directing water out of the cistern into a small tank to be taken back to the village. We were five or six people trying to keep the hose in place and he was just one, pulling it violently away from us and trying every which way to stop the water from flowing.