5 April 2009
AT-TUWANI: Masked settlers beat three Palestinian children, shoot at Palestinian shepherds for the second time in ten days.
[Note: According to the Geneva Conventions, the International Court of Justice in the Hague, and numerous United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal. Most settlement outposts are considered illegal under Israeli law.]
(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.
Earlier the same day, settlers shot at a teenage Palestinian shepherd as he grazed his sheep near Juwayya. This is the second time settlers have shot at Juwayya residents over the last ten days. On 25 March, twenty Israeli settlers left the settlement of Ma'on and shot at Palestinian shepherds grazing their sheep on land belonging to the village of Juwayya. During the incident, four Israeli soldiers and the security guard of the Ma'on settlement were present and did not interfere with the settlers. The shepherds refused to leave their land, despite the danger.
"Feel my heart beat," the mother of the children said to a Christian Peacemaker Teams worker. "Really, we are afraid of the settlers."