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By Tuwani Team
6 Apr 2010
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Tuwani Update: March, 2010
During the month Israeli military twice entered the village of Tuba. On the second occasion police special forces ransacked two homes. The village of
Tuwani also experienced two settler incursions into the village. During March Palestinians encountered frequent harassment by Israeli soldiers and settlers in Khalli, an area of Palestinian-owned land located at the edge of Tuwani village and close to the settlement of Ma’on.
On one occasion Palestinian children were detained by Israeli soldiers while gathering herbs, and on another occasion fence posts newly installed on Palestinian land were vandalized during the night. In seven instances Israeli soldiers and a settler security guard interrupted grazing or detained shepherds.
Internationals continued to monitor the military escort of school children from Tuba and Maghayer al Abeed as they walked to and from school in At-Tuwani. The failure of soldiers to arrive on time and complete the entire escort caused the children to be at added risk of violence from settlers. Throughout the month internationals also accompanied children traveling to Al-Fakheit school.
Present on team during March were Laura Ciaghi, Sarah MacDonald, Josh Hough, Melanie Southworth, Jessica Fredrick, Janet Benvie, Sam Nichols, Cassandra Dixon
Settler incursions into Tuwani:
* March 10th and 11th: In the evening Israeli settlers came into the village of Tuwani and onto the land of the family living closest to the outpost.
Military incursions into Tuba:
* March 29: Three jeeps of Israeli soldiers entered the village of Tuba and spoke with residents. Palestinians told CPTers the soldiers informed them that settlers claimed two of their goats had been stolen. Soldiers told Palestinians that the settlers might come back at night to take revenge, but did not offer any protection.
* March 31: Fifteen Israeli special forces police entered Tuba, forced residents from their homes, interrogated several people and ransacked two homes. The police told Palestinians they were searching for two goats and for weapons, but after an extensive and destructive search they left the village without finding any weapons or stolen goats.
See release at:
http://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2010/04/03/south-hebron-hills-israeli-soldiers-ransack-palestinian-homes-and-damage-belonging Incidents of harassment in Khalli:
* Thursday March 4: Soldiers and a settler security guard forced shepherds to move their flocks away from Khalli. Israeli soldiers briefly detained one young shepherd.
* Saturday 6 March: Soldiers approached three boys, age 13 & 14, who were gathering herbs in Khalli. The soldiers took away the shears the boys were using and forced them to kneel near the jeep for ten minutes, then forced them into the jeep. When one child tried to run home a soldier chased him, unlocking and cocking his rifle as he ran after him. The soldiers then drove away with the children but released them twenty minutes later.
See Release at:
http://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2010/03/11/tuwani-three-children-detained-while-gathering-herbs * Monday 8 March: A settler security guard chased shepherds and their sheep from the area and threatened the sheep and dogs with his rifle.
* Saturday March 13: A settler security guard drove his vehicle through a flock of sheep at an accelerated pace, then got out of his truck and attempted to further scatter the sheep by blowing a whistle and flapping his arms. The following day one of the ewes miscarried and the shepherd filed a complaint against the settler.
* Monday 15 March: Soldiers detained a shepherd who was grazing his sheep in the area and held him for twenty minutes in their jeep, then released him.
* Wednesday 17 March: Soldiers ordered shepherds to move their sheep from the area. As the shepherds were crossing the bypass road a vehicle stopped and three young settler men got out and tried to prevent an international from crossing the road with the flock.
* Thursday 18 March: A settler security guard approached a flock crossing the Israeli bypass road. He got out of his truck and immediately began hitting the sheep with his rifle as he chased them from the area. See video of incident at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/AtTuwaniProject * Friday 19 March: A settler security guard attempted to drive his truck into a flock but was prevented by an international standing in his way. Shortly thereafter soldiers arrived and told the young shepherds to move further from the road. After the soldiers left a settler driving on the road stopped and yelled at the boys to leave.
* Friday March 26: Palestinians from Tuwani erected fencing in Khalli to protect vegetation from animals. The following morning, March 27, they found that thirty fence posts had been broken out of concrete footings or bent over at the ground during the night.
Problems with the military escort of school children from Tuba and Maghayer al Abeed
* Thursday, 4 March: The military escort arrived 45 minutes late and did not accompany the children all the way past the Israeli outpost. As the children walked alone past the chicken barns members of Operation Dove saw a settler vehicle drive between the children and the barns. The internationals ran towards the children and the car moved on.
* Tuesday March 9: The military again did not complete the escort. An armed Israeli settler approached the children as they walked alone past the chicken barns at the edge of Havat Ma`on. Members of Operation Dove ran towards them and told the soldiers that a settler was present. The soldiers blew the horn of the jeep, and the children ran to the internationals.
* Tuesday 23 March: CPTers called the army three times before the afternoon escort finally arrived. The children arrived home 45 minutes late.
* Wednesday 24 March: CPTers called the army three times before the afternoon escort arrived. When soldiers did arrive they yelled at the children to hurry and refused to wait while they gathered their belongings.
* Thursday 25 March: After escorting the children partway to At-Tuwani, the soldiers drove away, leaving the children to walk alone past two Israeli settlers. The children ran down the road to At-Tuwani when they saw the settlers pick up stones.