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 settlers’ 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 https://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