Applies to CPTnet releases from Palestine projects


14-27 May

Gutierrez and Paul Neufeld-Weaver led a delegation of three people to the Southwestern department of Nariño, where CPT has accompanied the Awa people intermittently for two years. Coca cultivation and drug trafficking pushed into the region by Plan Colombia and fumigations in neighboring departments have increased the impact of violence on the indigenous and Afro-Colombian people of this area. The delegates hope to encourage the U.S., Canadian, and Colombian governments to support programs that encourage voluntary eradication of drug crops and the planting of traditional diversified food crops instead of monoculture cash crops.


16-19 May

Connie Watson, Latin America Bureau correspondent with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), visited the team while she was in Colombia to cover the Canadian Free Trade Agreement. The visit came about because of a comment posted by Pierre Shantz on the CBC website in response to a mining story. The team arranged interviews with community leaders and took Watson to see the 16 May commemoration events.


AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 21 April-21 May 2008


Israelis from nearby settlements threatened Palestinians working in their fields every Saturday (Jewish Sabbath) during this. Settlers increasingly intimidated and challenged Palestinian shepherds' rights to graze and harvest their land. Israeli soldiers and police often came to the areas of conflict before settlers appeared, but did nothing to prevent their violence.

Palestinians' full access to their lands became even more essential during this seasonal transition from the moist winter months into the long dry season. The past season's rainfall in the South Hebron Hills was 13% of the annual average. With commercial fodder prices tripling since last year, growing their own fodder and grazing mostly-barren hillsides becomes the only option for some families, including many whose livelihoods are completely dependent on their flocks.

AT-TUWANI: Israeli military again blocks main access road in South Hebron Hills

At 11:00 a.m. on 5 June 2008, the Israeli military again blocked the road between At-Tuwani and Yatta. A bulldozer massed a six-foot-high mound spanning the width of the road, using concrete slabs, boulders, and earth. Several villages in the South Hebron Hills are again cut off from secondary schools, hospitals, and basic supplies such as water, firewood, and animal feed, because this road provides the primary vehicle access to Yatta, the region’s economic hub.

AT-TUWANI: Israeli settler kills goats with car in South Hebron Hills

On 1 June 2008 at around 5:00 p.m., an Israeli settler driving in the South Hebron Hills killed three goats and injured two others while on the settler bypass road, Route 317. A local Palestinian shepherd from the village of Ma’in was on his way home, bringing his flock across the road from a nearby field where he had been grazing his animals. The settler aimed his car, and rammed into three of the goats. He then redirected his car and aimed for more, hitting an additional two. The assault killed three goats and broke the legs of two surviving animals.

AT-TUWANI: Israeli military blocks main access road in South Hebron Hills.

On 28 May 2008, the Israeli military blocked the road between the village of At-Tuwani and the city of Yatta, using three of the concrete blocks from the dismantled wall along Route 317 (See 20 August 2007 CPTnet release, "‘Security’ wall along Rt. 317 dismantled.")

HEBRON ACTION ALERT: Act this week to stop Israeli military from closing orphanages and schools in Hebron.

In his meeting on 21 May 2008 with members of the Steering Committee for Supporting the Orphans, Mr. Jawad Bulos, lawyer for the Islamic Charitable Society (ICS), gave a briefing on the ongoing court case regarding the closing and confiscating the ICS facilities.

"The very first moment the Charity received the closure orders I appealed to the Military Legal Advisor and asked him to arrange a meeting with me. The advisor refused to meet me and later he rejected our appeal. I was forced, then, to appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court," said Bulos. ''Five days after my appeal to the court, the court unexpectedly refused to issue a stop order (prohibition order). I was informed later that the court will not discuss our appeal before October,'' added Mr. Bulos.

HEBRON: International NGOs rally to rescue Hebron orphanages

Representatives from CPT, UNICEF, UNOCHA, Defense for Children International, the YMCA, Relief International and other human rights organizations met in Hebron on 8 May 2008 to help Hebron’s orphans and students now living with the fear that the Israeli military will close their homes and schools. The representatives selected a core group of Palestinian and International NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations) to halt the Israeli attack against Islamic Charitable Society (ICS) orphanages and schools. The core group will also develop programs to ease the anxiety that has been part of the children’s lives since the Israeli military stated its intent to shut down the facilities.

AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 27 March-20 April 2008

5 April
During the morning, At-Tuwani shepherds, accompanied by CPTers and members of an Israeli peace organization, took their flocks to graze in a field across highway 317 from the entrance to the Israeli settlement of Ma’on. …

At 2:00 p.m., six settlers approached At-Tuwani from the trees that surround the settlement outpost of Havot Ma’on. Two jeep-loads of soldiers were already present at the scene, as well as Palestinians and CPTers, and many more At-Tuwani villagers soon arrived. In an effort to move the Palestinians and internationals back, the soldiers argued that the area was a closed military zone but refused to show any papers. Instead of moving out of the contested area, the village children began a game of football (soccer), and two At-Tuwani hajjis (matriarchs) sat down on the ground in front of the soldiers, while CPTers filmed. The playful resistance continued for at least half an hour, until At-Tuwani village leaders urged the women and children to move back from the soldiers. The Palestinians did so, and the army left at 3:00 p.m.

HEBRON URGENT ACTION: Israeli military raids Hebron orphanage sewing workshop.

At 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday 30 April, the Israeli military raided the Hebron Girls' Orphanage in the H1 area of Hebron.…

Statements of support for the orphans have come in from former President Jimmy Carter, from European Union Vice President Luisa Morgentini, and from representatives of other international organizations worried about the fate of the orphans in Hebron.  Please join with them in supporting the orphans.  Write to the Israeli embassy in your country and to your elected representatives to protest this latest illegal act by the Israeli military in Hebron.

AT-TUWANI: Armed settlers invade village, attacking Palestinians and internationals while soldiers and police stand by

On Friday, 2 May 2008, shortly after 3:00 p.m., three settlers, including the Ma’on settlement security guard, entered At-Tuwani and accused Palestinians of stealing cherries. When internationals approached, filming and taking photographs, the settlers pushed, kicked, and head-butted them and Palestinians with them, and also broke a video camera. As more settlers and Palestinians arrived, several scuffles broke out while Israeli soldiers and police looked on.