AT-TUWANI UPDATE: December 8-22, 2004

December 24, 2003

AT-TUWANI UPDATE: December 8-22, 2004

 Wednesday 8 December CPTer Jerry Levin and two members of Operation Dove
(OD) did school patrol on a rainy morning. They forgot the binoculars and so
took a position closer to the road than usual. At 7:30am they heard a siren
from the other side of the outpost. Shortly after, a military jeep appeared
followed by the five children from Tuba and a police jeep.

In the evening Hafez Hereni visited and told the story of the village that
his family originally lived in and how the Zionist military drove them out.
They eventually settled in At-Tuwani. He also said that in the past,
seventeen children from Tuba came to school in At-Tuwani. Now the parents
send most of them to the Bedouin school two hours walking distance in the
other direction to avoid the settlers. Some of them are considering sending
their children back to At-Tuwani next semester, because of the Israeli

Thursday 9 December
A member of OD and Levin did school patrol in the morning. At about quarter
after seven they heard young men singing from the outpost. They also heard
dogs barking on the other side of the outpost. At 7:37a.m. a military jeep
and police jeep come into view but no children were visible. Then Levin and
them ODer heard a metallic clatter. When the jeeps reached At-Tuwani, the
five children got out of the police vehicle.

One of the girls from Tuba said that they were walking in front of the
jeeps. When they approached the outpost they saw a vehicle parked at the
edge with a woman inside and two young men ran at the children with sticks
from a hiding place in the trees. The police then loaded the children in the
jeep and drove them the rest of the way. The girl said that the vehicle
belonged to the settler school and the boys were students there.

In the afternoon the children were escorted by a police jeep. At one point
the jeep stopped while the children continued on and one of the officers got
out to go to the bathroom in plain sight of the village. Then the jeep
started again and caught up to the children. About fifteen minutes after the
police and children left, a military jeep arrived and sped along the path to
catch up.

Friday 10 December
A tour group of ten from Global Exchange came to At-Tuwani with CPTers
Dianne Roe and Kathie Uhler at about three in the afternoon.

Saturday 11 December
At three in the afternoon a military jeep came into At-Tuwani and parked
near the team's home. They videotaped the homes in the village. One of the
men from the village said that the soldiers were not a regular patrol, but

Sunday 12 December
Before afternoon school patrol two Associated Press journalists came to
photograph the children. One of them got permission to walk home with the
children. The kids were escorted by the journalist, one military jeep, and
three soldiers walking.

Monday 13 December
Gish and the ODer helped with the construction work on the clinic in the

In the evening team members had a meeting with Saber Hereni about the
continuation of the work in the village. They decided to commit to stay two
more months before the next evaluation. They also talked about how they
could expand the work to other villages in the surrounding area..

The team learned that the Israeli military had granted a building permit for
a medical clinic. The villagers had begun working on the clinic in September
and started and stopped several times, as the Israeli Civil Administration
made and broke verbal agreements with them.

This building permit is a first for any structure in the village, where even
the school had to be built without permission.

Tuesday 14 December
In the afternoon the group walked to Tuba to observe the second half of the
children's walk home. There were two Israelis, possibly journalists who
stopped the children to talk to them. One settler followed the children and
soldiers at a distance of about 100 meters as they walked home.
Carr did an interview with an AP journalist.

 Wednesday 15 December Two visitors joined Carr, Gish and the ODer for
school patrol in the morning. Five children were escorted by one military
and one police jeep with one soldier walking. A settlement security SUV
followed for about half of the trip to school.

The whole group accompanied one of the men from At-Tuwani to graze his sheep
near the settlement and road.

Starting at 2:15 Gish and Carr accompanied Hafez Hereni while he plowed in
the rain near the road. The plowing took about an hour and during that time
military vehicles came by four times. The plowing stopped when the tractor

Throughout the day helicopters and F-16s flew overhead.

Thursday 16 December
In the morning the five children were escorted by one military jeep and one
soldier walking. In the afternoon Gish did the patrol alone. The children
were escorted by a military jeep and three soldiers walking.

Friday 17 December
Gish helped build a wall on the side of one of the roads in the village.

Saturday 18 December
Gish brought some filmmakers from Ohio to At Tuwani. They interviewed Hafez
Hereni, the Tuba children and Gish and filmed the afternoon school patrol.
In the afternoon the children were escorted by a military jeep and three
soldiers walking. A second film crew who arrived with a Ta' ayush activist
was also filming.

A group from the YMCA came to At-Tuwani in the afternoon with John Lynes and
Jerry Levin. Carpenter, Williams and an ODer gave a talk about the village
and a short tour.

Monday 20 December
In the morning Williams and Carpenter walked to Tuba while two volunteers
from OD stayed at the normal observation point, so that the team could see
the entire route the children take. The five kids were escorted by one
military jeep and two soldiers walking.

During the morning, there was a meeting of leaders from the villages of the
southern Hebron District at the clinic. Israeli lawyers came to talk about
the legal situation. They said that whole area is wanted by the Israeli
military for a training area and there are setbacks in the case. The group
left the meeting early so that The ODers could check out what was happening
with some soldiers they could see to the north of the village and Carpenter
and Williams could do school patrol.

The OD volunteers observed seven soldiers coming from the direction of
Karmil. They came down the hill as far as the road and waited for a troop
transport vehicle and a white Toyota with two