Ma'on, Har Hebron
|District||Judea and Samaria Area|
Ma'on (Hebrew: מָעוֹן) is an Israeli settlement organized as a moshav shitufi in the West Bank. Located in the Judean Hills south of Hebron and north of Beersheba, it falls under the jurisdiction of Har Hebron Regional Council. In 2018 it had a population of 575.
The word 'Ma'on' in Hebrew means 'dwelling'. It refers to a biblical village said to stand on the borderlands of the desert, in the highlands of Judah, which is mentioned in Joshua (15:55), identified in modern times with Khirbet Ma'in, about 3 km to the west. There is a ruin of an ancient synagogue at Khirbet Ma'in.
The Arab village of Ma'in was a conical settlement on a hill, 1.25 kilometres south of Carmel, and 3 kilometres east of Susiya, with the ruins of a castle still visible, and cisterns, lying about 9 miles south south east of Hebron.
The Israeli outpost was first established in 1981 as a paramilitary Nahal outpost. It is located on one side of the main road between At-Tuwani and Tuba, east of At-Tuwani. The first civilian population, members of the Orthodox Zionist youth movement Bnei Akiva settled there in 1982.
In 2001, Jewish settlers established the outpost Havat Ma'on (also named Hill 833 or Tel Abu Jundiya) on the other side of the main road. In 2003, settlers took over Palestinian land near the road, which was abandoned due to ongoing settlers attacks; on 25 December, several new outposts were set up.
In 2005/2006, the settlers expanded a chicken farm south of Hill 833. In 2008, the location was fenced, impeding vehicular traffic on the road. In 2009, new caravans were placed near Ma'on, on a slope north of the road and laid the foundations for 12 buildings. In March 2010, the settlers built houses in the new outpost.
In the late 1990s, Palestinians using the road between Ma'on and Hill 833 increasingly came under attack from hostile settlers. Eventually, the Palestinians were forced to abandon their use of the road and nearby lands. In 2010, United Nations OCHA reported frequent attacks by settlers from the Ma'on outpost on schoolchildren who used the road.
In 2011, Christian Peacemaker Teams reported 5 attacks by settlers from the outpost Havat Ma'on on internationals and Palestinians within 30 days. On 13 July, three settler youth attacked Palestinian shepherds. On 18 July 3 masked settlers armed with clubs attacked two shepherds and members of the At-Tuwani peace team. In July 2012, Operazione Colomba reported an attack by masked settlers on a child and volunteers of "Operation Dove". In January 2014, settlers threatened shepherds. At the end, the army arrested a shepherd. The following days, Israeli soldiers chased shepherds in the same area. In November 2014, the Israeli army was still escorting schoolchildren from Tubas to school in At-Tuwani and home, with no plans to cancel the twice daily escort, because of the risk of settler attacks.
The village and its residents are working as a teachers, social workers, farmers, and has also a local winery. The residents of Havat Ma'on but also those from Ma'on itself are mostly working in agriculture, raising sheep, chickens and cows and working as a shepherd, as well as farming grapes, cherries, tomatoes, potatoes, almonds, wheat and olives.
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-″For example, attacks by settlers from Maon outpost, on 5 – 10-year-old children walking to school from Tuba and Maghayir Al Abeed to Tuwani, were so frequent that an army jeep is needed to escort the children to and from school.″
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