6 October 2018, Jordan Valley, West Bank, Occupied Palestinian Territories: 40-year-old Deab Abu Malik herds his sheep in the Jordan Valley on the West Bank. After the morning’s graze, Deab leads his flock of sheep homeward. The pace is carefully monitored, with regular stops for moments of rest. He says it’s important the sheep do not burn too quickly the nutrition they’ve just picked up. Ecumenical Accompaniers from the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine in Israel accompany shepherds in many parts of the West Bank, providing an international presence known to have a mitigating effect on confrontations between Israeli settlers and the Palestinians. EAs' presence also helps Palestinians access lands they otherwise might not have dared to continue to cultivate. In the West Bank’s Area C, any land that isn’t cultivated for a period of three years becomes property of the state, the shepherds explain, so accessing their lands regularly is vital for the communities and their herds.
- Albin Hillert, all rights reserved
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- Jordan Valley, Palestine - October 2018