Applies to CPTnet releases from Palestine projects

AT-TUWANI: Israeli army fails to escort Palestinian school children twice in three days

In the last three days the Israel army has twice failed to escort Palestinian children between their village of Tuba and their school in At-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank.

After school on Monday, 29 December, the army began the escort.  However, the soldiers accompanied the children only about 150 meters, stopping to chat with settlers and directing the children to continue alone most of the two km journey between the Israeli settlement of Maon and outpost of Havat Maon.  On the morning of Wednesday, 31 December, the soldiers failed to arrive at all.

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: Hope for the New Year

As I write this, Advent and Christmas are over.  The new Christian year has begun; the new calendar year is about to begin﷓Gregorian and Hijri.*  It is a time for looking forward to the New Year, the lengthening of the days again and, in due time, the earth's new growth in spring.


As I sat in a church in Jerusalem listening the words of this beautiful Christmas song, I became immediately uncomfortable.  Living in a place where immense injustice is perpetrated in the name of, and by, Israel, I feel uneasy when I listen to hymn and Old Testament references to a righteous Israel. I understand it's a gross misreading of Scripture to equate "Israel" with the State of Israel; it's more accurate to equate "Israel" with the people of God. But nevertheless, the word "Israel" conjures up some negative feelings and emotions inside of me because of my experiences in Palestine/Israel.  But, as the verses progressed and eventually came back to repeat the first verse, I was struck by the power, hope, and the significance of these words.

AT-TUWANI UPDATE: November 2008

Saturday 15 November 2008
Benvie and Knight were accompanying shepherds on Mshaha hill when twelve to fifteen masked settlers appeared on the ridge above them.  The masked settlers made a loud cry as they began to run down from the ridge, throwing stones and wielding sticks.  They pursued the shepherds, sheep, and CPTers into Mshaha valley, and up and over Khoruba ridge, still throwing stones.  The stones injured Knights’ left arm and ankle.  The attacking settlers also temporarily stole two donkeys belonging to the Palestinian shepherds.  The villagers later found one donkey stabbed in the neck, who survived, while the other donkey was stabbed in the lung and bled to death on the hillside.  (See “AT-TUWANI: Israeli settlers attack Palestinian shepherds, kill donkey, injure internationals,”

HEBRON: Settlers attack Palestinians after Israeli military forcibly evacuates Occupied House

On Thursday 4 December 2008, Israeli military and law enforcement forcibly evacuated Israeli settlers from the Occupied House, called the House of Peace or House of Contention by settlers, located between the Israeli settlement Kiryat Arba and Hebron’s Old City.  Israeli courts had ordered its evacuation pending resolution in another court of competing claims on the legality of the building’s sale to the settlers.

AT-TUWANI UPDATE: September-October 2008

Tuesday 14 October 2008
During afternoon school patrol, the escort did not accompany the schoolchildren along the complete route.  Two adult settlers shouted, chased, and threw stones at the children.  (See 15 October CPTnet release, “AT-TUWANI: Israeli military escort fails again protect Palestinian children from settler attacks,”…

Thursday 30 October 2008
The team visited Umm Al Kher and learned that Bedouin of the village had moved to the area in 1948 when the Israeli authorities expelled them from their land near Beersheva.  An old man in the village spoke to the CPTers about the Israeli soldiers who had demolished their homes, saying, “Where is the democracy?  Do they accept what happens to children here to happen to their children?  What have these children done to Israeli children?”

AT-TUWANI: Villagers successfully plow “lost” land

On 21 and 22 November, the villagers of At-Tuwani successfully plowed fields to which Israeli settlers and soldiers had denied them access for as long as nine years.  The villagers, as they do each planting season, organized themselves and their relatives from the nearby town of Yatta to plow and plant the valley of Khoruba with wheat and barley.  Palestinians undertake these plantings in an organized fashion, with large numbers of people, in order to prevent attacks from Israeli settlers.  Settlers from the nearby illegal outpost of Havat Ma'on hope to expand into these areas, and have already taken a small plot of land at the top of Khoruba valley.

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: Grass, tea, and shepherds—signs of life

K. had kept his flock out an unusually long time this morning.  The sheep and goats were probably happy because an inch of grass had grown in some places due to the recent rain.  Because it was the first rain of the season, however, the grass remained just short enough that the sheep appeared to have a tough time eating it.  Their grazing attempts reminded me of eating a pomegranate.  You exert so much effort to get those little kernels out, and when you eventually get them out and eat them, they don’t even put a dent in your hunger.

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: Breaking bread with friends

“I am sorry Janet, I will not be able to offer you tea and bread,” Khalil told me.  “The settlers killed my donkey and took everything in the bag.”

We were sitting on Khoruba Hill, where we often sit with Khalil, a young Palestinian shepherd.  Most days we accompany him as he makes his way over the hills with his flock and his donkey.  The route from his home to Khoruba passes within sight of the Israeli settler outpost of Havat Ma’on.  Each day he leads his sheep on paths where his father and grandfather walked, on land coveted by the settlers.  As he leads his sheep, he watches for Israeli settlers or soldiers who regularly chase him off the land.

AT-TUWANI: Israeli settlers attack Palestinian shepherds, kill donkey, injure internationals.

Video of the settler attack and the donkey killed by Israeli settlers

On 15 November 2008, around 9:00 a.m., approximately fifteen masked Israeli settlers from the illegal outpost of Havat Ma'on attacked three Palestinian shepherds who were grazing their flocks in a valley south of the outpost.  The settlers came running down from a ridge above the shepherds, hurling rocks. The shepherds were able to get their flocks away before the rocks injured them.

During the incident, the settlers were able to steal two of the shepherds' donkeys.  The settlers killed one donkey with a knife wound in the chest area.  They slashed another across the throat, but the donkey survived.