AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 19 - 31 May 2007

13 June 2007
AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 19 - 31 May 2007

Each morning and afternoon, the team monitored the Israeli military escort
of the children from the Palestinian villages of Tuba and Maghayir Al-Abeed
to and from school in At-Tuwani. The team also responded to several
temporary Israeli military checkpoints on the Palestinian road leading from
At-Tuwani north to Yatta, and accompanied Palestinian shepherds in fields
near Israeli settlements and settlement outposts.

On team during this period were members of Operation Dove (the Doves) and
CPTers Ilse Muehlsteph, Diane Janzen, Jill Granberg, Joel Gulledge, and Mary

Saturday 19 May

A shepherd from At-Tuwani told CPTers that Israeli soldiers stopped to check
his ID while he was with his sheep, in a valley close to Ma'on settlement.

"They said I could not graze my sheep in this valley and that I must stay
above the gravel road. I told them their orders were wrong; that the land
in the valley belongs to my family and we have a right to be there," he

In the afternoon Gulledge and Granberg accompanied shepherds in Humra
valley, close to At-Tuwani. Gulledge observed soldiers driving very slowly
on the road between the Palestinian villages of At-Tuwani and Mufakara and
on toward Avigail settlement outpost.

At 5:00 p.m., Janzen and Muehlsteph responded to an Israeli military
checkpoint on the road to Yatta. The soldiers appeared to be checking
whether vehicles with yellow license plates (Israeli plates are yellow) were
stolen or fake plates. They removed several yellow plates from Palestinian
vehicles. The soldiers left the area shortly after 6:00 p.m.

Sunday 20 May

At 8:15 a.m., Janzen and Muehlsteph responded to an Israeli military
checkpoint on the road to Yatta. The soldiers had stopped two vehicles;
they gave ID's back to Palestinians in one vehicle soon after the CPTers
arrived, but told a car full of people from Yatta heading to harvest their
fields near the Palestinian village of Tuba that they could not pass because
the man had stolen license plates on his car. They said to the man, "This
has happened several times and you are in the military computers." The
family turned back to go to Yatta.

The soldiers stopped several men who were walking; they had to wait an hour
before soldiers returned their IDs. At 8:55, the soldiers left.

Wednesday 23 May

At 3:30 p.m., two Doves responded to an Israeli military checkpoint on the
road to Yatta, this time very close to Yatta, in Area A ( regions of the
West Bank hypothetically under Palestinian Authority). The soldiers stopped
all vehicles and checked them slowly, creating long lines of cars both ways.
Four Palestinians had to wait more than forty minutes. The Doves asked the
soldiers how much time they needed to check the ID of one Palestinian. A
soldier replied, "We will take all the time we need." The soldiers left at
6:05 p.m.

Thursday 24 May

At 1:15 p.m., Doves responded to news of an Israeli military checkpoint in
the road to Yatta.

Friday 25 May

Two Doves joined a Palestinian family from Yatta and members of the Israeli
peace group Rabbis for Human Rights to harvest wheat in a valley close to
the Hill 833 settler outpost. At 8:30 a.m., Israeli soldiers met the family
in At-Tuwani and escorted the harvesters and their two tractors to the
field. The Israeli military remained in the area for one hour, and then
Israeli border police came and stayed in the area. A teenage settler came
at the top of a nearby hill but left after a few minutes. On the return
trip, two settlers (one on a horse) tried to block the tractors but the
Israeli border police turned the settlers away.

Gulledge and two Doves spent the night in Tuba.

Saturday 26 May

At 10:50 a.m. four settlers walked from Hill 833 settler outpost through the
hills to the Palestinian village of Ar Rakeez, wandered around an abandoned
house in the village and then walked back to the Hill 833 outpost on the
Palestinian road. Two Doves followed at a distance.

Monday 28 May

Two times in the morning, a Dove and Janzen responded to news of an Israeli
military checkpoint on the road to Yatta. Both times when they arrived in
the area, the soldiers drove away.