AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 26 June - 10 July 2007
CPTnet June 17, 2007 AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 26 June - 10 July 2007
Every day during this period, the team accompanied Palestinian shepherds
from At-Tuwani and Mufakara in Khoruba valley near the Hill 833 settler
outpost. They also accompanied shepherds grazing their sheep close to the
Susya military base, and shepherds from the village of Tuba. The team
monitored several temporary Israeli military checkpoints on the Palestinian
road leading from At-Tuwani north to Yatta.
On team during this period were members of Operation Dove (the Doves) and
CPTers Diane Janzen, Mary Yoder, Sarah Scruggs, and Matthew Chandler.
Tuesday 26 June
Two Doves accompanied Palestinian shepherd boys from Susiya near the Susya
military base. Soldiers came to the gate of base and called one of the boys
to come up to them. Before the Doves could reach the group, three soldiers
surrounded the boy, and one of the soldiers punched him in the nose. The
Doves confronted the soldiers, but the soldiers refused to speak to them and
returned to the military base.
Wednesday 27 June
The team learned that around 5:30 p.m., five settlers threw rocks at
Palestinians from the village of Tuba with slingshots. The Palestinians
notified an Israeli peace activist of the situation and he called the
Israeli police and army and asked them to investigate. A military jeep
drove through At-Tuwani and soldiers stopped to ask villagers where the
problem was. They then continued around the Hill 833 outpost, but did not
go to Tuba. Israeli peace activists again called the military and after
another forty-five minutes, a military jeep arrived near the Ma'on
settlement's cattle barns close to Tuba. The settler vehicle with the
settler boys who had initiated the attack on the Palestinians was there, but
the army did nothing to apprehend the attackers and did not speak with the
people from Tuba.
Friday 29 June
At 7:30 p.m., the Doves received a call from a villager saying six soldiers
were on the hill between the Hill 833 outpost and At-Tuwani. When the Doves
arrived in the area, they observed soldiers hidden in the rocks, guns
pointed towards the village, using binoculars to look at the village. The
soldiers told the Doves they were doing their job and that "There was a
shooting in Yatta caused by the enemies; the person involved probably comes
from this village so we're waiting for him." After informing Israeli peace
activists and the police of the soldiers' presence, the Doves monitored the
soldiers until they entered Ma'on settlement.
Saturday 30 June
CPTers Janzen and Scruggs joined Palestinians from Susiya and fourteen other
villages or towns, CPTers from the Hebron team, and members of other
international peace teams in a day of solidarity with Susiya. The purpose of
the tour was to raise awareness of the possible demolition and evacuation of
the Palestinian village of Susiya. (See 4 July 2007 CPTnet reflection,
"Transforming stories--what the press is not reporting.") The CPTers
learned that late in the evening, settlers came down in the valley between
the outpost and the village.
Sunday 1 July
One of the Doves monitored a temporary Israeli checkpoint on the road to
Yatta. The soldiers made one van of people wait for one and a half hours
because an old woman did not have an ID. (Many women in the south Hebron
Hills do not have an Israeli-issued ID card.)
Monday 2 July
In the morning, villagers and the internationals helped one family with
their remaining harvesting in a valley close to Ma'on settlement (a member
of the family had noticed that people--probably settlers--had removed some
of the crops in the previous week.)
Two Doves went to Tuba in the morning and accompanied shepherds in one area.
Settlers came and threw rocks at another Tuba shepherd in a different
valley. When the Doves learned this, they ran to the area and videotaped
the settlers throwing rocks. The settlers immediately walked away from
Tuba, towards the new tent they set up on 21 June 2007. Tuba villagers said
these settlers seem to be living in the new tent, and were the same settlers
that came and attacked the village the previous time.
Wednesday 4 July
The team learned that settlers came to Tuba again and threw rocks at the
same shepherd as they had on the previous day.
Thursday 5 July
CPTer Sean O'Neill joined members of Ta'ayush at a meeting with the US
consulate representative in Jerusalem to discuss the issues facing Susiya.
Scruggs and a Dove accompanied Palestinian shepherds in Tuba in the morning.
Around 10:00 a.m., the Ma'on settler security guard arrived with a jeep of
soldiers and told the Palestinians they were grazing their sheep on land
belonging to Ma'on. The soldiers took the ID of one of the landowners to
the military jeep, and when they emerged from the jeep with the ID, they
handed a piece of paper to the Ma'on settler security guard, who has no
authority on such matters, and the ID back to the Palestinian man. Scruggs
asked a soldier if they had given the Ma'on settler security guard the name
and ID number of the Palestinian man; the soldier said he did not understand
what she was saying.
Scruggs called the Israeli Civil Administration office (District
Coordination Office -- DCO) to get confirmation on land ownership. The DCO
said an officer would come out to the area. The soldiers and the Ma'on
settler security guard left the area where the shepherds were at 11:00 a.m.
The internationals continued to call the DCO office, and after calling
several times, the DCO officer told them they could not come because the
Ma'on settler security guard had called the Israeli police to report
Palestinians trespassing on land belonging to Ma'on. Neither the Israeli
police nor the DCO arrived in the area before the shepherds and
internationals returned to Tuba.
Janzen and a Dove walked to Tuba to replace Scruggs and the other Dove in
Tuba. While walking to Tuba, they crossed paths with an Israeli settler
walking along a hilltop. The settler asked the internationals where they
had come from and where they were going, and eventually pointed to the path
to Tuba and told the internationals to go there.
Saturday 7 July
Chandler and a Dove joined Palestinians from Susiya and other villages,
Israeli peace activists from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and internationals for
a solidarity visit to Susiya, because of the possible demolition and