AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 14-31 December 2006
22 January 2007
AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 14-31 December 2006
People serving on the team during this period were Heidi Schramm, John Funk,
Allan Slater, Amy Peters, and Art Gish, and members of Operation Dove
(referred to as "the Doves."),
14 December Thursday
The Israeli military blocked traffic across the highway for the running and
cycling race for settler children.
Villagers learned that the Israeli High Court ruled that the low barrier
along highway 317 is illegal and the military must remove it.
At 10:30 p.m. the team got a call telling them that soldiers were harassing
an At-Tuwani family living near the settler outpost of Havat Ma'on. The
soldiers left before the team arrived and the team drank tea with the Tuwani
At 1:30 a.m. the team spent an hour monitoring the same soldiers when they
16 December Saturday
The loud revving of a jeep engine awakened team members at 12:30 a.m. They
ran up the hill to where the jeep was parked and villagers were gathering.
The soldiers stayed inside their jeep and did not communicate with the
people standing there. A soldier with his face covered finally emerged from
the jeep and walked ahead of it for twenty paces, then got in and the jeep
left. Team members got back to the house at 2:10 a.m.
Soldiers came into At-Tuwani at 9:50 a.m., but soon left. At 10:20 a.m., a
big Ta'ayush (an Israeli peace group) delegation arrived. After villagers
talked to delegates about recent army harassment at night, the delegation
left and visited other Palestinian villages in the area.
Soldiers came again at 4:00 p.m. and drove through At- Tuwani very fast. At
7:30, soldiers came again. This time they stopped as soon as they saw Doves
and CPTers taking pictures of them. They claimed they were only patrolling.
They also insulted several people by calling them insulting names and
degrading their women. Community members have asked the team to observe and
document incidents and share the information with Israeli and Palestinian
human rights organizations, only confront the army when settlers or soldiers
threaten physical violence
Three Israeli human rights activists came to spend the night in the village.
18 December Monday
When an At-Tuwani villager did not move away from in front of his house
quickly enough as soldiers drove by, they pushed him to the side of the
driveway. The team requested that the soldiers not use people's driveways,
because small children play there.
19 December Tuesday
Schoolchildren reported that two settlers were in Tuba the previous day,
threw stones and then left. The children were late at lunchtime but the
soldiers waited for them.
Ta'ayush again came to the village to monitor the army's activities during
20 December Wednesday
Art Gish attended a meeting of some At-Tuwani and Mufakara men, including a
man who was recently released. Israeli authorities arrested him because a
settler accused him assaulting a another settler. Ta'ayush arranged for his
At 4:40 p.m., a military jeep tore through At-Tuwani at high speed. It went
up above the village, came back, went up to the school, and then back down
to the Israeli road 317, leaving a cloud of dust behind.
22 December Friday
Soldiers entered Tuwani at 6:30 p.m. They had gone to the trees near the
settlement of Havat Ma'on and turned around, shining their spotlight on a
house at the edge of At-Tuwani. One soldier explained to team members that
they were only doing their job and that whatever the Palestinians had told
the team was a lie.
24 December Sunday
The children from Tuba and Magair al Abeed told the team that a soldier had
thrown a stone in their direction while they were walking to school. Team
members videotaped statements from the children.
Allan Slater prepared a two-course candlelight dinner for the team. The
Doves and CPTers then sang a English and Italian carols.
25 December Monday
The team members all went up to the cave above the school for a time of
worship. The Christmas theme was liberation for the oppressed, and how in
the midst of oppression and occupation, God gives signs of hope. Various
people phoned to wish the team a happy Christmas
27 December 2006 Wednesday
At-Tuwani got over a half inch of rain during the night. The precipitation
was enough to germinate the crops and give some relief to the trees
suffering from last year's drought.
Three team members went to the La Safer checkpoint because soldiers were
making Palestinians returning from jobs in Israel stand in the cold rain for
over three hours. (See 2 January CPTnet release, "AT-TUWANI REFLECTION:
Standing in the cold rain.") Soon after team members arrived, the soldiers
began giving the men their IDs and they headed toward cars waiting to take
Team members drank tea with the men in Beit Yatir, a small Palestinian
village near the Green Line. Five times, they told the team, the Israeli
military \has come into the village to demolish their houses and caves. Now
all of them live in tents.
28 December 2006 Thursday
Because soldiers did not come in the morning, John Funk, Gish, and a Dove
walked past the Ma'on settlement to meet and accompany the children
themselves. Settler security saw them and called the soldiers. The soldiers
came, but would not allow team members to return to the village by way of
the public road, which resulted in a standoff. This standoff was resolved
when the team learned that there was no school and the children returned.
30 December Saturday
The first day of Eid al Adha, the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice.
Gish attended the Eid prayers in Karmil. The sermon was about the
execution of Saddam Hussein this morning on one of the most important Muslim
days of the year, and how offensive that was to Muslims.
Team members ate lunch at an extended family gathering in At-Tuwani, which
resulted in a discussion about nonviolence. Someone made a comment about
continuing violence and oppression, and expressed doubt that anything can be
done about it. Gish replied that people in At-Tuwani are building an
alternative to violence and made a comment about the need for Muslim
Peacemaker Teams. One of the villagers corrected Gish, saying there already
is a Muslim Peacemaker Team in At-Tuwani: all the people who lived there.
About ten days earlier, a camel showed up in the village, as a gift from a <