AT-TUWANI UPDATE: July 2008
Serving on team during this period were Tarek Abuata, Jan Benvie, Laura Ciaghi, Joy Ellison, Jessica Frederick, Joel Gulledge, Ilse Muehlsteph, Heidi Schramm and members of Operation Dove (Doves).
[Note: According to the Geneva Conventions, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and numerous United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal. Most settlement outposts are considered illegal under Israeli law.]
During the month of July, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) documented seven violent attacks on Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills by Israeli settlers living in the area.*¬† Four of these attacks were on Palestinian children traveling on their way to or from summer camp.¬† Despite violence, verbal threats, and Israeli settlers chasing them off their land, Palestinian shepherds continued to graze their flocks on their land during the month of July.¬† Also, Palestinian children from the villages of Tuba and Maghaer Al Abeed continued to attend summer camp in Tuba, in spite of violent attacks, and the Israeli military's regular refusal to escort the children safely to camp.¬† In response to the settler's violence, the village of At-Tuwani organized a nonviolent march to raise awareness of the violence children face on their journey to and from school and of continued settlement expansion in the area [See 4 August 2008 CPTnet release, "AT-TUWANI: March from At-Tuwani to Tuba a success."]
Saturday 5 July 2008
In the morning, Israeli soldiers erected a roadblock on the road between At-Tuwani and Yatta, the economic center and social services provider for the entire region. [See 7 July 2008 CPTnet release, "AT-TUWANI: Israeli military further blocks main access road in South Hebron Hills.]
Tuesday 8 July 2008
Israeli soldiers erected three additional roadblocks on the Palestinian road to Yatta.
In the afternoon, six Israeli settlers entered the Palestinian village of Tuba. The settlers, one of whom was riding a horse, threw rocks at Palestinian shepherds grazing their sheep.
Saturday 19 July 2008
Between four and six settlers threw stones at a Palestinian shepherd and his sheep grazing in Humra valley, outside At-Tuwani. ¬†The settlers then walked into the Israeli settlement outpost of Havat Ma'on.
Sunday 20 July 2008
Settlers from the Israeli settlement of Suseya attacked Palestinian shepherds from the village of Susiya and their sheep. ¬†Israeli soldiers arrested a Palestinian filming the incident, a Palestinian shepherd, and four internationals from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). At the police station, the Israeli police accused the Palestinians and internationals of attacking the settlers, but released them later that day.
Tuesday 22 July 2008
The Israeli military refused to escort the Palestinian children from the villages of Tuba and Maghaer al-Abeed to summer camp in At-Tuwani. ¬†Eight of the children walked a dangerous path on their own, at risk of attacks from Israeli settlers. The remaining nine children stayed home and did not come to camp for the day.
Friday 25 July 2008
Israeli settlers entered At-Tuwani and threatened to kill Palestinians. [See 26 July CPTnet release, "AT-TUWANI: Armed settlers enter village, threaten Palestinians and internationals; Israeli police refuse to intervene."]
Wednesday, 23 July; Saturday 26 July; Sunday 27 July; and Wednesday 30 July 2008
The Israeli military refused to provide an escort for children coming to summer camp.¬† Without the military escort, the children experienced the following harassment and attacks on their way to summer camp:
Settlers attacked the children as the children walked unaccompanied. [See 25 July CPTnet release, "AT-TUWANI: Israeli settlers chase Palestinian children on their way to summer camp; Israeli military fails to protect children."]¬†
The children walked an unsafe path with the accompaniment of CPT. [See 27 July CPTnet release, "AT-TUWANI: Israeli military refuses to escort Palestinian children to summer camp despite settler attacks."]
Settlers attacked the children and severely beat Joel Gulledge, a CPTer accompanying the children. [See 27 July CPTnet release, ¬†"AT-TUWANI: Israeli settlers attack Palestinian children, CPTers, on journey home from summer camp."]
The Israeli soldiers accompanying the children home from summer camp failed to complete the escort, leaving the children to walk unaccompanied past five settlers. ¬†The settlers chased, threw rocks, and yelled insults at the children. ¬†[See 31 July CPTnet release, "AT-TUWANI: Israeli settlers attack children for the fourth time in one week."]
*CPT's list of serious incidents in the South Hebron Hills for July 2008 is not exhaustive.¬† Other violent incidents in the South Hebron Hills occurred which were not reported to or witnessed by CPT.