Applies to CPTnet releases from Palestine projects


On Saturday, 28 March, shepherds from Tuwani and nearby villages responded to recent harassment by gathering peacefully with their families to graze sheep in Khoruba valley.  Four settlers, two with their faces covered, walked from Havat Ma'on into the flocks and among the shepherds and their children.  Palestinian shepherds sat down and refused to remove their sheep from the area.  Israeli soldiers, police, and border police arrived but did nothing to protect the rights of the Palestinian landowners.  There were no arrests and both settlers and Palestinians left after about three hours.

AT-TUWANI RELEASE: Masked settlers attack three Palestinian women in the South Hebron Hills

(Umm-Zeitouna Valley, South Hebron Hills, West Bank)  On Friday 10 April at about 10:00 a.m. five Israeli settlers attacked three Palestinian women from the Bedouin village of Umm Al Kher, south of Yatta, while the women were grazing their sheep and gathering herbs in the nearby Umm Zeituna valley.  The women reported that the men were masked and armed with wooden sticks.  They beat one of the women, aged 21, injuring her arm, and chased the women and flocks off the land while throwing rocks.  The injured woman needed to be hospitalized.

AT-TUWANI URGENT ACTION: Ask Israeli military to fulfill its obligation to protect children

In the past two weeks, the situation in the South Hebron Hills has become increasingly dangerous for Palestinian children.

Members of Operation Dove and Christian Peacemaker Teams have twice witnessed settlers grazing sheep directly in the path of the Palestinian children from Maghayir al-Abeed and Tuba when they were walking home from school in At-Tuwani.  Because settlers have physically attacked children along this route in the past, and made death threats against them earlier this school year, the children are terrified by the presence of these settlers.  Since an incident on 24 March 2009 in which settlers were present at the end of the children's walk home, internationals and the children have repeatedly asked the soldiers to walk with the children until they are out of danger.  (See  On 1 April 2009, settlers again came onto the land between the outpost of Havat Ma'on and the village of Tuba while the children were walking.  Members of CPT and Operation Dove were present and the children ran towards them crying and very frightened.

AT-TUWANI: Masked settlers beat three Palestinian children, shoot at Palestinian shepherds for the second time in ten days.

(Juwayya, South Hebron Hills, West Bank) At 4:00 pm on 5 April 2009, Israeli soldiers and the Ma'on settlement security guard took three Palestinian boys—ages ten, eleven, and fourteen—and transported them to the Ma'on settlement. Soldiers delivered the children to six masked settlers who kicked and punched the children. At 4:45, the children arrived back in their village, after the settlers allowed them to leave to walk home through the hills alone.

AT-TUWANI: Israeli army refuses to escort Palestinian school children past settlers

Israeli soldiers in charge of escorting schoolchildren from At-Tuwani to their homes in the villages of Tuba and Maghayir al Abeed refused to escort the children past two adult settlers on 23 March 2009.  As the soldiers and children approached the chicken barns that mark the end of the area where settlers frequently attack, they saw settlers approaching the barns.  The children asked the soldiers to complete the escort.  Internationals watching from a nearby ridge also called the army twice too, specifically demanding that the escort complete the obligatory accompaniment past the chicken barns as required by the protocol.

AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 1-18 February 2009

Monday 2 February 2009

In the morning, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian man on the Israeli side of the border near the Palestinian village of Jinba and the Israeli settlement of Beit Yatir.  Taysir Manasra, 27, from the Hebron area, was attempting to travel into Israel for work.  Following this incident, CPTers documented two Israeli checkpoints in separate locations, at which Israeli soldiers detained, beat and harassed Palestinians (see 12 February 2009 CPTnet release, “AT-TUWANI: Soldiers kill Palestinian migrant worker, increase harassment of villagers in South Hebron Hills.”)  At one checkpoint, an Israeli soldier told Sarah MacDonald that two of the Palestinian detainees had no registration or ID, were likely terrorists, and  "may cut your throat next!"

AT-TUWANI: At-Tuwani hosts Tony Blair to address Israeli occupation and violence in the southern West Bank

On 19 March 2009, Tony Blair, representative of the Quartet on the Middle East visited the Palestinian village of At-Tuwani, located in the southern West Bank.  His said his reason for visiting was "really to draw attention to the fact that without a new and different system applying in Area C [the area in the West Bank under Israeli military and civilian control], then it is very hard for Palestinians to enjoy the standard of living that they should enjoy and be able to develop their land as they should be able to develop in freedom."

Mr. Blair met with the mayor of At-Tuwani as well as members of Christian Peacemaker Teams and Operation Dove, who described the attacks and harassment Palestinians experience from Israeli settlers and soldiers when Palestinians attempt to access their land.  The conversation also highlighted Israeli government inaction toward settler aggression, exemplified by the government's failure to follow through with the demolition orders on the illegal Israeli outpost of Havat Ma'on.  When asked what he will do about this situation, Mr. Blair answered, "It's got to be stopped, hasn't it?  This is what should happen.  But it needs to be done in a systematic way so that the whole way this area is looked at and administered is changed to make it fair."

AT-TUWANI: Israeli soldiers join settlers in chasing shepherds off lands instead of arriving on time for school escort

Israeli soldiers in charge of escorting the children from At-Tuwani to their homes in the villages of Tuba and Maghayir al Abeed arrived at the meeting point thirty minutes late on 15 March 2009, leaving the children waiting in cold, rainy weather.  When At-Tuwani team members with the children called for the escort, the army dispatcher said the escort would come thirty minutes late and offered no further explanation.

At-Tuwani team members accompanying local shepherds in the area witnessed two settlers in a white pickup coming onto Palestinian land and chasing away shepherds at about 12.50 p.m.  Ten minutes later, an army jeep drove into the same area, and two soldiers joined the settlers in preventing shepherds from accessing their land.  The soldiers left the area at about 1:25 p.m. and drove to the escort meeting point.

AT-TUWANI RELEASE: Israeli court releases CPTers arrested for accompanying Palestinian landowners

At 2:30 pm, on Monday, 9 March, a Jerusalem court released two Christian Peacemaker Teams members (CPTers) whom Israeli police arrested while the CPTers accompanied nineteen Palestinians trying to access their land near the Bedouin village of Um al-Kheir.  The CPTers were charged with trespass and obstruction of construction work, despite the fact that they were at least ten meters away from the work zone and the Palestinian landowners had invited them to their lands.

AT-TUWANI: Israeli police detain Palestinian landowners asserting their rights, arrest two members of Christian Peacemaker Team

At 11:30 a.m., 8 March, Israeli police detained nineteen Palestinians who were trying to access their land near the village of Um al-Kheir.  The police also arrested two Christian Peacemaker Teams members (CPTers) and charged them with obstruction and trespass, even though the owners had invited them to their land.