AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 1-13 August 2006
28 August 2006
AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 1-13 August 2006
In the early morning and afternoon, the team continued to monitor the
Israeli army escort of children from Tuba to the summer camp in At Tuwani.
They also accompanied shepherds from At Tuwani and surrounding villages as
they grazed their sheep in the morning. In addition to members of Operation
Dove (called "Doves"), CPTers on the project during this time were Mike
Brown, Angela Davis, Rich Meyer, Sarah Scruggs, and CPT intern Michael
Tuesday 1 August 2006
Meyer and a Dove accompanied a couple shepherds in the morning as they
grazed their sheep up from the Khoruba valley, an area close to At-Tuwani
where settlers often harass Palestinians. At one point, a settler came down
toward them and the shepherds moved their flocks back. Soon afterwards
soldiers arrived to Khoruba hill and told one shepherd that the area was a
closed military area. They showed no papers to substantiate this claim.
After the soldiers left, the shepherds continued grazing.
In the afternoon a CPT delegation arrived. After eating lunch prepared by
the women's group, delegates toured the village. Some of the group left
while others spent the night at a home in At-Tuwani.
Wednesday 2 August 2006
A squad of soldiers began to walk through the village in the early morning.
Davis, a Dove, and four CPT delegates followed and talked with the soldiers
as they walked briefly through the village and then up into the nearby
settlement outpost of Havat Ma'on.
Later that morning, Meyer and a Dove accompanied shepherds in Khoruba valley
in a different area from the day before. Six settlers and a settler
security officer from Ma'on observed and filmed them from Havat Ma'on. A
bit later, a jeep full of soldiers arrived and spoke with the settlers and
the settler security officer. The shepherds moved further away.
Meyer and the Dove walked toward Havat Ma'on and a soldier met them. He
explained that the settlers believe that there is a clear delineation
between the Palestinian side of the Khoruba valley and the settler side.
Eventually, the soldier admitted that it was all Palestinian land but said
he was concerned about people getting hurt. He then told the settlers to go
back to the woods.
Friday 4 August 2006
Members from Ta'ayush, an Israeli peace group, arrived in the late afternoon
to discuss the summer camp in At-Tuwani that will begin on Sunday. Everyone
agreed that the children needed to attend the camp, but they were not sure
if the Israeli army escort would provide an escort.
Sunday 6 August 2006
In the morning, two Doves went to Tuba to wait with the children for the
army escort to their first day of summer camp. Davis, Meyer and the other
Doves all watched from different vantage points. Two army jeeps arrived at
7:00 a.m. and the children walked between them along the short path between
Ma'on settlement and the settlement outpost of Havat Ma'on.
Tuesday 8 August 2006
While in Jerusalem, Meyer met with a man from Peace Now, a large Israeli
peace organization. The man reported that the Israeli army has definite
plans to evacuate Havat Ma'on after the war in Lebanon is over. He also
said many settler leaders dislike Havat Ma'on because they often do not
follow directions from settler leadership. They seem willing to "sacrifice"
Havat Ma'on in order to keep some other outposts.
A man from Susiya and another villager from At Tuwani visited the team late
in the evening. They reported that settlers had come into Susiya to attack
two peace workers from ISM (International Solidarity Movement.) The
settlers stole their camera and kicked them, but inflicted no serious
Wednesday 9 August 2006
A lawyer from ACRI (Association for Civil Rights in Israel) came to take an
"affidavit" from people in At-Tuwani to bring to court a petition against
the wall in the area. This wall has been built along the nearby Israeli
bypass road and blocks vehicle access to the nearby city of Yatta.
Thursday 10 August 2006
After the children from Tuba were escorted by the Israeli army for the
summer camp, a villager called the team to say that the army was in
At-Tuwani. Brown, DelPonte and the Doves went out immediately. The army
left soon afterwards. They appeared to be doing some kind of training
Approximately 150 people were at the school for the summer camp. Activities
included drawing, clay working, music, dance, and school painting.
At around 10.30 p.m., two Doves accompanied a couple from the village
bringing their sick child to the hospital in Yatta. The trip went smoothly.
The team heard machine gun shots far in the distance around midnight.
Friday 11 August 2006
Brown and DelPonte went out to Khoruba Hill in the early morning to observe
the army escort for the children of Tuba. After waiting a half hour, Brown
called the army. The army said they had not planned to send anyone since it
was Friday. Brown asked them to send an escort and they said that they
would. In the meantime, the children walked on their own cross country from
Tuba to Khoruba Hill. They arrived safely to At-Tuwani.
Again, the team heard machine gun shots around eleven p.m..
Saturday 12 August 2006
The team members left earlier than normal to monitor the army escort. They
felt some concern that the settlers may be aggressive on the Sabbath, which
has happened in the past. Though the army was present in the morning, they
did not pick up the children in Tuba until almost 8:00 a.m., which is when
the summer camp begins.
Brown called the army. They told him they were not supposed to pick up the
children until 8:00 a.m. A Dove called a member from Ta'ayush to confirm
the agreed-upon times of the morning and afternoon escort.
Brown, Scruggs and two Doves went in the evening with some villagers to
water an olive tree. The villagers had planted it in honor of CPTer Tom
Fox after his body was found in Baghdad last March. Fox had spent a few
weeks in At-Tuwani in 2004.
Sunday, 13 August 2006
While accompanying a shepherd in Khoruba valley, Scruggs and Brown saw three
settlers emerge from a house in Havat Ma'on. About five minutes later, a
settler security officer from Ma'on and the army arrived to meet the
settlers; however, both left shortly thereafter. Brown called the Doves.
The shepherd moved his sheep further away from th