The At-Tuwani team had between
two to three CPTers serving during the month of October.
Together with the members of Operation Dove, the team monitored
the Israeli military accompaniment of the school children from the Tuba area as
they passed near the Israeli settlement of Ma’on. Twice the soldiers failed to
arrive in the afternoon, and the internationals accompanied the children back
to Tuba. Four settlers, with faces masked, chased the children during one of
these accompaniments, but no verbal or physical contact with the settlers
occurred, and no one was injured. On another occasion, two high school students
were returning to Tuba when two masked settlers stole the donkey they were
riding. Later the donkey appeared back in Tuba missing its saddle.
Team members often spent Friday or Saturday nights at
Tuba and accompanied young shepherds in the morning as they grazed their flocks
near the Ma’on settlement barns. When settlers approached, the shepherds
generally left the area quickly. Israeli soldiers on one occasion chased young
shepherds back to Tuba and arrested their brother, a university student, when
he videoed the soldiers’ actions. He was taken to an army base and held for
five hours. On one occasion, two masked settlers attacked two members of
Operation Dove as they returned from accompanying shepherds, but did not injure
them. The next day, a settler on horseback challenged two CPTers and warned
them to stay off the road to Tuba. Three more settlers appeared and watched the
CPTers as they took a longer route.
Israeli Army Checkpoints
Soldiers often set up a temporary army checkpoint at
the junction of the settler-only highway and the road from At-Tuwani
to Yatta. They stopped most vehicles and checked IDs, possibly looking
for labourers travelling to or from Israel illegally across the nearby green
line. CPT and/or the Doves monitored the checkpoint and intervened when
soldiers detained Palestinians for a longer time than usual. Sometimes they
were able to engage the soldiers in conversation about what they were doing and
A visitor from England spent a day with the team, and
a delegation of thirty Mennonites from the U.S. and Canada visited to see and
hear the stories of nonviolent resistance practiced by the people of At-Tuwani to the occupation and confiscation of their land by
Israeli settlers and soldiers. The team helped a Palestinian couple from At-Tuwani prepare for a November speaking tour in Italy.
The army seemed to have orders to protect the farmers
from settler attack during their olive harvest. While the families from
At-Tuwani were in the Humra valley near the Ma’on settlement,
two army jeeps remained on the road between the valley and the settlement for
the entirety of the olive harvest, which passed without incident.