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Palestinian shepherds’ livelihood threatened by Israeli settlers

For years Palestinian shepherds and Israeli settlers near the West Bank town of Hebron have clashed. Now tensions are only getting worse, according to Palestinians and activists, especially as the settlement issue remains a major roadblock to U.S.-sponsored peace talks.

Mahmoud Awad, 34, sips sweet tea at sunrise before heading out to shepherd his flock in the hills near Hebron in the West Bank.

Dave Copeland

Mahmoud Awad stands with his flock of sheep near the village of Touba in the West Bank.

Dave Copeland

Awad helps a ewe give birth while shepherding his flock near the Palestinian town of Hebron in the West Bank.

Dave Copeland

A mother helps a newborn lamb to its feet in the south Hebron hills.

Dave Copeland

A newborn lamb takes its first steps next its mother in the hills near the town of Hebron.

Dave Copeland

Children sit inside their home, a limestone cave, in the village of Jimba in the south Hebron hills.

Dave Copeland

Ezra Mawi, an Israeli human rights activist, films an Israeli digger breaking ground near the Israeli settlement of Havat Maon, near Hebron.

Dave Copeland

Suleiman Khatarin, a shepherd from the Palestinian village of Umm Al Kheir, herds his goats close to the Israeli settlement of Carmel as Israeli soldiers look on.

Dave Copeland

Two Israeli soldiers stop Palestinian villagers and Israeli peace activists trying to reach farmland near the settlement of Maon in the hills near Hebron.

Dave Copeland

A Palestinian boy cries as his father argues with an Israeli soldier near the settlement of Maon, close to Hebron.

Dave Copeland

Israeli human rights activist Ezra Mawi films a discussion between Israeli army lawyers and a human rights lawyer about providing protection for a Palestinian-owned olive grove near Hebron, which has recently been attacked by settlers.

Dave Copeland

A young boy prepares to leave his village on an errand, near the settlement of Maon.

Dave Copeland

Shepherd Mahmoud Awad watches over his flock of sheep near the village of Touba in the West Bank.

Dave Copeland

Stars dot the night sky above a sheep pen in the village of Touba. The lights in the distance are from the Israeli town of Arad, which lies outside the West Bank.

Dave Copeland