I did work getting water to HaNekuda, in Gvaot Olam settlement near Itamar, but for me it was a group of derelict huts on a windy hilltop, without any ideological meaning. But after reading an article on Avri Ran, I understand a bit more.
"There are also no fences surrounding any of Ran’s hilltops. He considers fences to signify defensiveness and a willingness to forgo that which is outside the fence. Many others have now emulated Avri's way of settling the land - leaving the confines of the gated communities for the biblical bounty of the barren hills and valleys of Judea and Samaria and making them blossom."In the beginning I was completely alone," Ran said. "Ten or fifteen Arabs would come. Fierce confrontations. They had to bring me a needle and thread to stitch up my wounds. Always alone. Nobody ever heard me scream ‘ay.’ ""Slowly a group of youngsters formed around me - teenagers who had not found their place. I had to live with the vomit and craziness of some of them, to sign papers at the nuthouse that we would be responsible for others. Everything with the agreement of their parents."We went to another hilltop and another. The moment a community was founded, I would move to another hilltop and the confrontations would start anew. I was portrayed as one of the things that I had tried to escape from my whole life - as a leader, a guru. Incorrect claims. I never agreed to be either a politician or a shaliach tzibor, a prayer leader."I was apparantly threatening to the neighborhood, though," Avri added. "The phenomenon was difficult for the members of the Yesha Council of Judea, Samaria and Gaza Communities. After years of no communities being founded in the State of Israel through private initiative and means, it was unacceptable to them. They said to me, ‘Avri, because of you we are not receiving budget allocations - get down quickly!’ I answered them, ‘I am not your emissary. I am from the Land of Israel, and me and my sweet nation are doing things.”
After a year and a half on the outskirts of Itamar, during the heat of the Oslo Accords era, Ran decided to move out to a hilltop simply called “The Point,” a mile away from Itamar. It was the first outpost in a long series of them. His reputation and stories of his self-sacrifice spread. Rumors of the non-conventional settler reached far and wide and youth began to make their way to the outposts to see for themselves that Zionism was alive and well. Members of the Yesha Council were displeased. They did not understand how someone could just get up and decide that he is going to found a community. Even Ariel Sharon visited Ran and told him, “Enough. What do you need this for? It is preventing the flow of budgetary allocations.”Sharon Ran described what it was like when her husband left their home to capture his first hilltop. “He took a tent - actually just the lining of one - and just went to the hilltop,” said Sharona. “Our mode of communication was via a taxi radio. I would bring him food and equipment. It was a series of obstacles to get there, despite the not-so-distant location. We would spend the Sabbath there with a small generator. We began to sell our assets because we needed to fund everything on our own. We sold two houses in Jerusalem and the farm in Beit Meir. Within a year there were four families living on ‘The Point.’ " Ran then moved to the next hilltop, Hill 851, another mile from the previous one along topographically difficult terrain. It could only be reached via tractor. He stayed there for a number of months until others joined him and settled the place. Then he continued forward.In 1998 Avri founded G’vaot Olam, which means “The Hills of the World,” a name Sharona came up with. “We must connect the mountain communities of Samaria to the Jordan Valley,’ Avri told me,” recalls Sharona, “ ‘this is an indispensable corridor of settlement.’ ”Now G’vaot Olam is home to animal pens, fields of organic vegetables, olive and apricot groves, a dairy, flour mill and synagogue. An efficient marketing setup brings G’vaot Olam’s goods to every natural foods store in Israel. Almost all of Ran’s children live at G’vaot Olam, including his married daughters, who all met their husbands at the farm. The houses are well-groomed and the paths are lined with flowers. There are no locks on the doors. Instead of a fence, there is a large watch tower. Arabs in the neighboring village of Yanoun tell all sorts of stories about Ran, claiming that he burned their generator, that he blocked their road and that he demands that they inform him of any changes in the status quo that they wish to make. Left-wing activists with the Ta’ayush organization, as well as European volunteers, have entered the village and attempted to help the villagers fight Ran's authority using the willing media. “The left chose Yanoun in order to show the world ‘the Sheriff of the Hilltops,’ ” Sharona said, “the man who terrorizes. How many time have they opened a table in Yanoun and called Avri down to settle their internal disputes? I witnessed many such night-time phone calls. When they didn't have water we brought it for them. What the residents of Yanoun say now can fly from here to Uganda. As long as the leftists were not there, they didn’t say anything. True, there is no wimpiness here. Avri is a man, and he behaves like a man - and one who knows Ishmael and the Arabs knows that this is the language that speaks to them. That is the condition for quiet. They don’t understand how there is a Jew here that is unafraid.”“I am, as a settler, an anomaly and exception," Ran concedes. "When I have a problem with members of a certain village, I go there and solve it with the Mukhtar, the elder of the village. Once I caught someone who came to steal from me. I brought him to the Mukhtar. They made him an ‘arrangement’ there. Not me. Afterward, he claimed that I beat him. I didn’t touch him."
What, the water I was providing was forwarded to the Arabs? One never knows.