[Note: According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the International Court of Justice, and several United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements and outposts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal. Most settlement outposts, including Havat Ma'on (Hill 833), are illegal under Israeli law.]
On the morning of Saturday, 30 October 2010, around 10:30 a.m., Israeli soldiers arrested a young Palestinian man from the village of Tuba, in the South Hebron Hills, who had been filming Israeli soldiers chasing two young Palestinian shepherds from Tuba.
The two shepherds, accompanied by internationals of Operation Dove (the nonviolent corps of the Italian organization Community Pope John XXIII), were watching their flocks in the Umm Zeitouna area, on private Palestinian land.
Around 10:00 a.m., a group of Israeli activists from Ta'ayush joined the internationals accompanying the shepherds. After about ten minutes, three military jeeps and two armored cars from Israeli army, the DCO (District Coordination Office of the Israeli military) and Israeli police arrived, surrounding the whole area. After a few minutes, Israeli soldiers came down from the hilltop into the valley, chasing the two Palestinian shepherds, who ran quickly toward their village.
Israeli activists and internationals tried to speak with soldiers, explaining, that the two shepherds were on Palestinian-owned land and, according to Israeli law, it is illegal to prevent Palestinians from accessing their land.
Nevertheless, the Israeli army continued chasing shepherds until they reached Tuba village as the young Palestinian man, who was working for Israeli human rights organization B’tselem, videotaped the action.
Soldiers then surrounded the Palestinian, detained him, and forced him to follow them to the Israeli-only bypass road, preventing him from answering his cell phone. They then took the young man to a military base close to the nearby Susiya settlement, detaining him for five hours.
After his release, the Palestinian told internationals he was blindfolded and handcuffed for a long time, and refused permission to make phone calls. None of the soldiers was able to speak Arabic and they were not willing to speak with him in English.
Operation Dove and Christian Peacemaker Teams have maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and South Hebron Hills since 2004.