AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 14 -27 August 2005
5 September 2005
AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 14 -27 August 2005
At-Tuwani team members during this time included members of Operation Dove
(an Italian peace group) and CPTers Joe Carr, Diane Janzen, Mary Yoder and
In the early morning, internationals accompanied shepherds in the Humra area
without incident. A doctor from the Red Crescent was present at the village
clinic. Carr and Janzen spent the day in Suseya accompanying the people
Internationals accompanied shepherds in Humra area. Other than settler
security driving by, the morning was uneventful. Afterwards the group drank
tea with a cave-dwelling family in the village of Mufakara. The army drove
through At-Tuwani on two occasions without stopping.
The morning escort with shepherds occurred without incident. Two police
vehicles drove through the village in the afternoon without stopping.
A villager called in the evening to inform the team about a checkpoint by
the entrance to the village and settler road Route 317. When the
internationals arrived, soldiers allowed a villager they had detained to
drive his car into the village. Soon after the internationals arrived, the
soldiers dismantled the checkpoint and drove off. Later in the evening the
team spoke with the villager. He said, "They were very bad soldiers. They
told me that I couldn't take my car home because it is illegal for me to
drive into this village, even though I explained that I lived here. The
soldiers told me I could go to the police station tomorrow and try to
retrieve my car. When you arrived, they began talking among themselves
saying ' Here come internationals with cameras, they are going to get us in
trouble.' Then they called me back and said ' Ok you can take your car
because we are being nice, next time we won't be so lenient.'"
Two team members spent the day and night in Suseya. Morning accompaniment
with shepherds in Humra passed without incident. A friend of the team
called to report that an explosion had injured four men near the village of
Jimba. They were collecting metal for recycling when they discovered a
bomb, presumably unexploded ordinance from an Israeli military training
Janzen and Zimmerman spent the day and night in Suseya. A friend of the
team informed them that poison similar to the pellets found in At-Tuwani in
April was discovered in the fields surrounding the Palestinian village of
Sh'eb Botom. The shepherds there noticed the poison before they grazed the
sheep on the affected land. As of this writing, the team has received no
further reports of sheep fatalities in the village.
The morning escort of shepherds occurred without incident. In the afternoon
two settlers rode their horses around the edge of the village but did not
enter it. In the evening two military jeeps stopped briefly on a hillside
near the village but did not stay longer than ten minutes.
Shepherds grazed their sheep in the Humra area with internationals watching.
Settlers and soldiers did not create any problems. As a result of recent
Israeli settler violence against Palestinians in other areas in the West
Bank, the team decided to take turns remaining awake during the night.
Around 10:45 p.m. two army jeeps drove through the village and shined their
spot lights on several houses. They left after fifteen minutes. An army
jeep drove through again at 11:30 p.m..
During a morning escort of sheep grazing in Humra, the team heard the
sounds of a tractor and construction coming from Havot Ma'on. Other than
the occasional rooster crowing, local people have not heard any sounds
coming from the settlement for the past two weeks. In the afternoon, members
of the team accompanied a family from Jawiyya onto their land that is just
north of the Ma'on settlement. They also took pictures of sheep that the
family reported had died after settler security beat them.
Members from the team accompanied shepherds to Humra in the morning with no
problems. In the evening the team visited the home of the landlord to see
the family's new baby. Baby and mother were both doing fine. During the
night, one member of the team heard distant explosions.
The internationals' morning accompaniment of shepherds to the Humra area
occurred without incident.
At 2:40 p.m., the Israeli military stopped a taxi van carrying an
international tour group on its way out of At-Tuwani. The army claimed that
the vehicle was stolen and called the police. The police responded but
stayed a very short amount of time and did not appear to check the vehicle.
The army finally allowed the taxi to continue on its way around 3:30 p.m..
In the evening, the village had a meeting about potential settler attacks.
They decided to hold a meeting the next night, inviting everyone in the
village to discuss what steps the village should take to protect themselves.
See 26 August release, "Palestinian villagers prepare for night assaults by
The villagers reported that two families received demolition orders for
olive groves and two wells. Lawyers from the village and from the Israeli
group Ta'ayush are working to present a legal challenge to the orders.
During the morning accompaniment of shepherds, members of the team observed
settler security personnel looking around the Humra and Khoruba valleys. In
the afternoon Carr observed the Jawiyya shepherds from a hill outside of
At-Tuwani. Settler security and a soldier began approaching the shepherds,
who quickly left the area.
At 9:30 p.m. and again at 3:00 a.m., army jeeps drove through the village.
Team accompanied shepherds in Humra valley without incident. In the
afternoon, a member of the team--observing from a hill near
At-Tuwani--noticed shepherds from Jawiyya grazing on the hills north of the
Ma'on settlement. The team noticed no settler or army harassment. The night
watch occurred without incident.
An At-Tuwani resident and Carr visited the village of Tuba in the morning.
At 6:15 p.m. a village child ran into the house to inform the team that
settlers were attacking sheep in the Humra valley. By the time the
internationals arrived, the settlers were gone. The shepherd said that two