AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 8 - 17 July 2006

31 July 2006

AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 8 - 17 July 2006

Each morning during this period the team went to Bier Jabareen, a cistern
near the Avigail outpost, to accompany shepherds from Mufakara and Sh'eb
Botom as they watered their flocks. They also accompanied shepherds from
Tuwani as they grazed their flocks in Humra. In addition to members from
Operation Dove (called "Doves"), CPTers on team during this period were
Angela Davis, Maureen Jack, Rich Meyer, Heidi Schramm and Diana Zimmerman.

Saturday, 8 July 2006

Meyer and a Dove were in the village of Susiya overnight and participated in
a water pumping action sponsored by Ta'ayush, an Israeli peace group.
Minutes after the tractors arrived at a Palestinian cistern near an Israeli
military outpost, soldiers intervened and would not allow the group to pump
water from the cistern. The soldiers declared the area a closed military
zone and threatened to arrest anyone who remained. The group withdrew from
the area.

Afterwards, several members of Ta'ayush along with Meyer drove to the
village of Tuba to photograph a new gate that blocks the road from Tuba to
At Tuwani. On the drive back to At-Tuwani, settlers stopped the vehicles by
blocking the road. The settlers spit on Meyer through the open truck
window. The police arrived, coaxed the settlers off the road, and allowed
the vehicles to pass.

When the group arrived back in At-Tuwani, Israeli soldiers approached them,
said the area was a closed military zone to all nonresidents, and ordered
all the Israelis to leave. They did not request that the internationals

In the afternoon, Zimmerman and Davis monitored a temporary checkpoint set
up by the border police at the entrance to At-Tuwani.

Sunday, 9 July 2006

A representative from the Israeli group Yesh Din (literally, 'there is a
law') and an Israeli lawyer visited At-Tuwani. They spoke with men from
Tuba, Susiya, Magaer Al-Abeed and At-Tuwani about the difficulties they have
experienced. The lawyer indicated that he would file charges in relation
to various incidents in the hope that the Israeli judicial system would
investigate them.

Monday, 10 July 2006

Shortly before 10:00 p.m., three army vehicles entered At-Tuwani. Two of
them drove toward the Hill 833 outpost after stopping briefly. Zimmerman
spoke with the soldiers from the third vehicle. They said that they were
responding to a report that someone was throwing stones. The soldier would
not say who filed the report nor who was supposedly throwing the stones.
Zimmerman called some families in the village, but no one knew anything
about stone throwing. After less than fifteen minutes, the soldiers left.

Tuesday, 11 July 2006

At 11:00 a.m., the team received information that an Israeli construction
crew was working near Tuba. Jack and Zimmerman walked via an indirect
route to Tuba to avoid potential problems with settlers. When they
approached the work site, the workers did not object to the CPTers'
documenting their work. The man in charge said that they were building a
communications tower for the army. The CPTers then walked to Tuba to pass
on this information to the villagers there.

Several truckloads of water arrived in At-Tuwani, provided by Oxfam. Most of
the cisterns in the village received some water.

Wednesday, 12 July 2006

In Humra, two Doves saw an army humvee. Four soldiers were by the vehicle
having what appeared to be a picnic. After half an hour, they left.

Thursday, 13 July 2006

>From Khoruba hill two Doves took photographs of the army's new
communications tower near Tuba.

At 10:10 a.m., Davis photographed a crane truck lifting cement blocks to
block the gap in the low wall on the north side of settler bypass road 317.
Shortly after 1:00 p.m., Davis, Jack and Zimmerman responded to a report
that soldiers were on the road. There they found several villagers and
their vehicles stranded on the Yatta side of route 317. (See 17 July CPTnet
release, "Access from At-Tuwani to Yatta blocked.")

Friday, 14 July 2006

After 4:00 p.m., a villager called to say that he had heard that the blocks
had been removed from the road. Davis and Jack went to investigate; the
blocks were still in place.

Sunday, 16 July 2006

Two members of the International Committee for the Red Cross visited the
village. They informed the team that they have submitted complaints with
the Israeli military about crimes committed by the settlers during the
previous few months. The team gave them pictures and video documentation of
incidents that occurred during the spring.

Monday, 17 July 2006

Leaders from At-Tuwani and surrounding villages met with a representative
from the Israeli army to talk about water distribution for the Masafer Yatta
area and the problems caused by the roadblock along route 317. The army
representative said that the roadblock will be removed "soon." He refused
to give a date.