AT-TUWANI UPDATE: October 8-25, 2004

November 9, 2004

AT-TUWANI UPDATE: October 8-25, 2004

Friday October 8

CPTers and Operation Dove (OD) members discussed with Hafez and Saber, some
of the leading men in the village what to do about school accompaniment the
next day.

Saturday October 9
Diane Janzen, Diana Zimmerman, two Operation Dove members and Saber went the
middle way to Tuba at 5:30 a.m. They left Tuba around 7a.m. and saw military
jeeps close to the Havot Ma'on outpost. Two jeeps stopped and an Israeli
commander named Ophir said that the middle way was part of the closed
military zone and only the children could go, not Saber or internationals.
Settler security arrived and began taking pictures and video of the group.
The army agreed to let the internationals walk 100 meters outside the closed
military zone, and two soldiers on foot and one jeep escorted Saber and the
children on the middle way.

Donatella Rovera and Maartje Houbrechts from Amnesty International (AI)
visited Tuwani. They accompanied Hafez, Janzen, Zimmerman, an Operation Dove
member, two girls, and three boys to Tuba via the middle way. They did not
see any jeeps until just before Tuba when one turned around and went back to
Ma'on. After tea in Tuba, the group set off back to At-Tuwani around 2:45pm,
accompanied by two young men from Tuba. They saw no military or police

As they came near the settle outpost Hafez saw a settler vehicle and
settlers getting out, so Zimmerman called the Kiryat Arba police (around
3:00 p.m.) who said they would send police and army. The settlers began
coming down the hill and Zimmerman called the police back. Hafez and the two
other Palestinian men ran away, and internationals ran/walked away, while
the OD volunteer videotaped the situation. Three settlers chased the
Palestinians on the side of the hill with stone-throwing slings, while five
others came after the internationals with round wooden sticks and black
plastic tubes. They hit Rovera on the leg with a stick and the shoulder with
a rock. They hit Janzen on the right upper leg. They assaulted the OD
volunteer and took the video camera. Then they ran back up towards the
outpost. The whole attack lasted two to five minutes.

Rovera spoke to some of the settlers in Hebrew. Janzen spoke to some as
well, but they did not respond.

Janzen called police again (3:23 p.m.) and they said they would come to
At-Tuwani in twenty minutes and the internationals should go there. The OD
volunteer had an injured left arm and left side.

The police arrived around 4:10 p.m., and the ambulance arrived shortly
afterwards, along with a settler security vehicle. Zimmerman went with the
injured OD member to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva. He was released the same
day with a sprained wrist.

The group showed the police where the attack happened. They wrote down
everyone's IDs, and the two Amnesty International women went to the Kiryat
Arba police station to file their complaint because they were leaving the
country the next morning.

Sunday October 10, 2004

At 6 a.m., Maia Williams, Joe Carr, Janzen, and Hafez left for Tuba on the
middle way. A woman from the Israeli peace group Ta'ayush called the
military and they said they would watch from the Tuba side of the outpost.
The group saw one army jeep and one
police jeep near the edge of the settlement.

The goup w alked back with three girls and three boys from Tuba the middle
way, and encountered IDF Commander Ophir in a military jeep, who said that
the military would only accompany the children if internationals were not
there. Ophir said perhaps one
Palestinian man would be able to walk with the children, but refused to give
the permission in writing. The children and CPTers continued to At Tuwani

When school let out, CPTers Cal Carpenter, Diana Zimmerman, Carr and
Williams waited with the children of Tuba for the military jeep that was
supposed to escort them home. After about twenty minutes the volunteers and
children decided not to wait any longer and set out for Tuba. On the way
home an Israeli army hummer followed the group. As they passed the Ma'on
settlement farm, on the side of the settlement nearest to Tuba, several
settlers came to the fence and shouted "go home." Several military jeeps and
settlement vehicles were patrolling the area. As CPT and OD members neared
At-Tuwani, Ophir informed the group from his jeep that the middle way they
had taken would be included in an enlarged closed military area starting the
next morning and that no internationals would be allowed to pass. He said
soldiers would protect the children and allow them to pass.

Monday October 11
The families of the children in Tuba decided that they would come to school
the long way rather than have military accompaniment. Carr, Zimmerman,
Williams and Carpenter walked part of the way to meet them as they came into

In the afternoon CPTers attended a meeting of people from At-Tuwani and the
surrounding area with Environmental Resource Management, the NGO that has
funded sanitation projects throughout the southern Hebron District and is
funding the clinic in At-Tuwani.

In the evening, a military jeep came to Hafez's home and Ophir promised
Hafez that the army would be present each day while the children went to and
from school.

Tuesday October 12
The children traveled to and from school via the short route with their
father accompanying them and the Israeli military looking on. No incidents

Kiryat Arba police came to the area and took statements from Zimmerman and
Hafez about the most recent attacks.

Wednesday October 13

Settlers with dogs confronted the children from Tuba and their father as
they came to school by the short route. The Israeli army intervened but the
children still did not feel safe and their father told Hafez that they no
longer want to go to school.

Zimmerman and a volunteer from OD assisted with the olive harvest in Susia
sponsored by Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR). Later in the day some Israeli
goatherds from the nearby Israeli settlement drove their herd through the
olive grove. The police said they could not intervene so several Israelis
from RHR drove the goats out of the grove. One of the RHR people overheard
the police telling the settlers that when the activists left they could
drive the goats back into the grove so the group stayed on and observed for
about an hour until the settlers returned to the settlement.