AT-TUWANI: Israeli settlers attack Palestinian boy and internationals in the South Hebron Hills.
[Note: According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Hague Regulations, the International Court of Justice, and several United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements and outposts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal. Most settlement outposts, including Havat Ma'on (Hill 833), are considered illegal under Israeli law.]
On Thursday, 21 October 2010, around 9:20 a.m., two Operation Dove volunteers, who were coming back to the village of At-Tuwani after having visited some Palestinian families in the village of Tuba, were attacked by Israeli settlers from the outpost of Havat Ma'on (Hill 833).
While walking, the internationals received a phone call from a Palestinian shepherd who was with his flock on a hill and warned them about some settlers who were quickly approaching them. A few minutes after the phone call, two settlers with their faces covered by t-shirts appeared on the top of Meshaha hill where the internationals were walking. The settlers started to lob stones with slingshots at the internationals who ran away and escaped injury.
Later on, around 1:00 p.m. in the same area, a similar incident happened to a Palestinian boy who was walking back home via the path on Meshaha hill. Two Operation Dove volunteers were on the top of Khoruba hill to monitor the afternoon military escort of the school children from Tuba and Maghayir al Abeed when they saw an Israeli settler quickly coming out from the outpost, face covered and talking into a cell phone. A few minutes later, three more masked settlers appeared on the top of Meshaha hill and, together with the first settler, started to throw stones at the Palestinian the boy, who ran down the valley and up Khoruba hill to join the internationals. He remained with them until the settlers disappeared inside the outpost.
Israeli soldiers, who came because settlers called them, asked the internationals what happened and if, according to them, the problems were in some way connected with the Palestinian olive picking activity. The commander then declared he was not proud of the settlersâ€™ behavior and suggested the internationals call the police every time something similar happens.
After the settlers attacked At-Tuwani village on 12 June 2010 (see press release at http://snipurl.com/xluyo), internationals living in the area did not document any other aggression during the summer. These latest events, preceded by the aggression of 12 October when two Israeli masked settlers chased two Palestinian young men and threw stones at them, seems to indicate a significant of a renewal of settler violence.
Operation Dove and Christian Peacemaker Teams have maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and South Hebron Hills since 2004.