Da quella piccola e sinuosa strada

ottobre 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Non è la prima volta che mi ritrovo così vicino all’avamposto di Avigayil, sulle colline a sud di Hebron/ Al Khalil. Lo conosco bene: dopo aver passato la piccola e sinuosa strada asfaltata, dalla quale si inizia a vedere l’avamposto, leggermente sulla destra c’è la valle più profonda. Scendendo verso gli ulivi il crinale è ripido. Se non si fa abbastanza attenzione si rischia di scivolare sugli ultimi quindici metri di discesa.

Conviene passare un pochino più a sud, avvicinandosi all’avamposto, per poter avere un passaggio più agevole. Poi, semmai, si possono prendere di nuovo le distanze risalendo sulla collina di fronte, dalla quale si ha un’ottima vista sia sulle case-container di Avigayil che sulla piccola e sinuosa strada asfaltata, dalla quale arriveranno, anche oggi, le camionette dell’esercito israeliano. A meno di non essere nel fondo valle, di solito c’è molto vento: benedizione d’estate e calvario d’inverno. Questa stessa valle culmina a sud, verso l’avamposto, in alcuni terrazzamenti che formano un anfiteatro. Al di sopra di questi c’è una rientranza nella roccia, con una specie di pozzo, dove i coloni amano rinfrescarsi mostrando, eventualmente, le loro nudità. Sempre in alto, ma sulla sinistra, c’è un campo di ulivi e una curiosa tettoia dove, d’estate, le famiglie di Avigayil si recano per rilassarsi. I bambini giocano, i genitori chiacchierano. Mai prima delle quattro del pomeriggio. Sui terrazzamenti della conca ci sono prati insolitamente verdi ed erbosi per la stagione. Gli stessi sono non-recintati da una serie di pali di ferro posizionati, l’uno dall’altro, a una distanza che varia da cinquanta centimetri a un metro e mezzo.
Ed è proprio qui che ci troviamo. Nel mezzo del non-recinto, sopra il terrazzamento più alto.
A dire il vero in passato mi sono trovato molto più vicino alle case-container di Avigayil. Non mi sento ancora “nel loro giardino”. È per questo che sono relativamente tranquillo, anche se i palestinesi parlano a voce bassa e fanno cenni con le mani e la testa. Siamo in sette: cinque pastori, di cui tre minorenni, e due ajaneb (stranieri in arabo). Le quattro greggi – non meno di duecento capi, tra pecore e capre – sono interamente all’interno del non-recinto.
Dopo una ventina di minuti di pascolo, A., 14 anni, lascia il suo gregge e si dirige ancora più in alto, verso il limite superiore dell’area arbitrariamente delimitata. A. si gira e – mi accorgo – ha uno sguardo d’intesa con l’altro pastore, M., poco più che ventenne. I due si scambiano una serie di segnali, di gesti col capo e qualche parola sottovoce.
Ed ecco che inizia “l’azione”.

VIDEO: Israeli army prevent violently Palestinians to access to their land

ottobre 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Video by Ta’ayush

HAARETZ: Were Palestinian shepherds arrested on false pretexts? Army promises probe

ottobre 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Activist’s footage shows settlement security coordinator telling soldiers to make arrests.

By Amira Hass, October 27 2013 – Video by Operation Dove

VIDEO: http://bcove.me/kbzpg6me

The Israeli army will launch an internal investigation into two cases in which soldiers allegedly arrested Palestinian shepherds on false pretexts, the IDF Spokesman’s Office has told Haaretz.

The investigation, under the auspices of the Israel Defense Forces advocate general and the army’s criminal investigation division, will be studying allegations that troops from the Kfir Brigade arrested Palestinian shepherds near the village of A-Tuwani in the southern Hebron Hills, taking them away from their flocks and pastureland for hours.

In the first incident, as shown in a video taken by an international activist who was at the scene, the soldiers arrested a shepherd on the direct order of an Israeli man named Gedalia, who is the security coordinator of the settlement of Maon. In the second incident, a commanding officer claimed the grazing was forbidden because it was too close to the outpost of Mitzpeh Avigayil. The shepherd testified that the soldiers struck and abused him.

In the A-Tuwani region, international and Israeli activists escort the local farmers and shepherds to their fields because of constant attacks by the residents of the outposts and settlements. The army and police often send the farmers and shepherds away to prevent friction with the settlers. But this was the first time in local memory that shepherds were kept from their pastureland by arrests made on the orders of settlers.

On the morning of Tuesday, October 15, Maon security coordinator Gedalia arrived at Ghali Hill, where Mohammed Shawahin, 31, of the nearby village of Jawiya, was grazing his flocks. Shortly after Gedalia appeared, a military vehicle containing four soldiers, three men and a woman, arrived. Shawahin got the message and tried to leave. But the woman soldier shouted at him: “You’re not going anywhere. Don’t you hear me? I’ve got a gun. You stay here. Don’t you hear me? You stay here. I don’t care. You stay here. Right here.”

It was then the sheep began dispersing. The security coordinator told the soldiers, “He [the shepherd] isn’t carrying an identity card.” In the video documentation, the sergeant can be heard asking, in Hebrew, “What do you want us to do?” The security coordinator said, “He was here yesterday, too — the exact same thing. I want you to hold him, find out who this person is, find out who this terrorist is.”

Shawahin offered to return to his home, a few hundred meters away, and come back with his identity card. The international activist tried to tell the soldiers that two days before, different soldiers had appeared and confirmed that grazing in the area was permitted. But the commanding officer decided to arrest Shawahin anyway, and handcuffed him. Shawahin was taken by jeep to an army camp in the settlement of Sussia. Ninety minutes later he was taken to the settlement of Shim’a, about 17 kilometers southwest of where he was arrested. He returned home on foot about seven hours after he was arrested.

On the morning of October 16, the same jeep appeared, only with different soldiers this time, on the road near the wadi and the privately-owned land on which Nael Abu Aram, 26, of the village of Qawawis, was grazing his flock. Two teenage boys were with him. Abu Aram testified that one of the soldiers took the pipe one of the teenagers was carrying and began striking the sheep to disperse the flock. The soldiers insisted that Abu Aram answer them in Hebrew and refused to believe him when he said he did not speak Hebrew. For several seconds, he managed to film the commander of the troops (Duchifat Battalion soldiers who completed their training in March 2013) telling him: “You’re not allowed to be here, right? You’re not allowed to be here, because this is [the unauthorized outpost of] Mitzpeh Avigayil. You’re not allowed to be here. There’s a Jewish community here, and you’re not allowed near it.”

Abu Aram said that when he tried to use his cellphone to call for help, the commander held his hand strongly, twisting his fingers. “He almost broke them,” he said. The soldiers handcuffed him, blindfolded him and made him get into the jeep. He says he was held for two or three hours at the army base in Sussia, in one of the prefabricated buildings (which he managed to see when his blindfold was removed for a few minutes). There, he testified in a video recorded by activists of the Ta’ayush Arab-Jewish Partnership, the soldiers struck, abused and cursed him while he was still handcuffed and blindfolded. He said they struck him on the chest, back and legs, held a burning cigarette to his mouth and extinguished it on his face, near his mouth. Later on, he was taken to the area near Shim’a, about 15 kilometers from the place where he had been arrested. He returned home about six hours after his arrest. On the afternoon of the same day, the same commanding officer from the Duchifat Battalion tried to arrest another shepherd in the same area on the same pretext — being too close to the settlement — but the shepherd firmly refused to get into the jeep. Because several international activists were present, together with a Ta’ayush activist, the commanding officer backed down.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office responded: “Each of these two incidents will be investigated thoroughly by the relevant parties, including the military advocate general and the army’s criminal investigation division, to clarify the circumstances. We emphasize that IDF troops act on the orders of their commanding officers in the field and are not subject to the orders of security coordinators.”

Armed settlers went into At Tuwani, a Palestinian village in the South Hebron Hills area, in southern West Bank

ottobre 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm

On October 25, at 7:40 a.m. gathered on the entrance of the At Tuwani village a group of about 70 people, among which some settlers from Ma’on and from other nearby settlements and outposts, accompanied by three Israeli military jeeps and Border Police. Around 8:00 a.m. they moved into the village.  Several of them were armed with M-16s and handguns. The group stopped in different places in the village also entering in old Palestinian stone houses and caves infringing the private properties. Subsequently they invaded the archeological site located between several Palestinian homes, in the middle of the village. The whole group stood there for at least one hour, while some of them were provoking the Palestinian inhabitants. One young settler harassed a girl from At Tuwani threatening to throw her a stone. 

In this area some archeologists, escorted by Israeli army, excavated in 2011. In December of the same year, during a meeting in the settlement of Susiya, some Israeli archeologists explained that in the site there is an ancient synagogue. In the meeting was also explained how to reach the site. Others experts that came in the village affirmed that the evidences are dating from the Byzantine period. However these results have never been officially confirmed.

At Tuwani inhabitants asked to Border Police officers and soldiers explanations, and told them that some of the settlers present in the village, had attacked and threatened them and their families on the graze lands or field. They were completely unheard and one Palestinian was even identified by the Border Police. In response to this, the women of the village of At Tuwani arrived on the scene, preventing an unjustified but likely arrest.

Later, the entire group moved to the village of Ar Rakeez and stopped again in front of a Palestinian home. Despite the fear, the owner of the house offered some bread to the settlers. After this, they all went toward the bypass road 317.

The people of the caravan did not give details on the escorted tour, or even on the private property infringement. They just said they visited the synagogue in the Jewish village “Khirbet At- Tuwani”. During the whole tour some settlers, even armed, tried repeatedly to prevent the internationals from taping the events and insulted them.

This is just the last of several ongoing provocations carried out by the Israeli army and settlers to which the South Hebron Hills palestinian communities keep responding in a nonviolent way.

Pictures of the incident: http://snipurl.com/2825ydr

Workshop: La storia del nemico. Parole e sguardi per un incontro possibile

ottobre 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Un vincitore è un sognatore che non si è mai arreso” (N. Mandela)

Chi vive, ha vissuto o semplicemente è vicino ad Operazione Colomba conosce bene questa frase stampata sulle magliette che indossano i volontari che condividono la vita con le vittime delle guerre, presenze di pace nei conflitti armati.

Siamo certi che per far avverare un sogno bisogna osare. Non lasciare che le paure prendano il sopravvento. Ci vuole coraggio. A volte il coraggio di fare una proposta, per rispondere ad una necessità.

La richiesta parte dalle comunità palestinesi dei villaggi delle colline a sud di Hebron. Palestinesi che, una ventina di anni fa, decisero di scegliere la nonviolenza come unica strategia di resistenza. per continuare ad abitare le proprie terre e rispondere all’occupazione armata e civile israeliana. Parte da queste parole di un membro del Comitato Popolare: “La nonviolenza è come un albero, che per crescere ha bisogno di acqua. Ognuno di noi, uomini, donne, bambini, anziani cerca di dare il proprio contributo. Ma abbiamo bisogno anche di voi. Aiutateci a dare da bere all’albero della nonviolenza”. 

VIDEO: 2013-10-06 Israeli army invaded South Hebron Hills village of At Tuwani overnight

ottobre 18, 2013 at 7:03 am

Press Release of the incident: http://snipurl.com/280gnp9

 

HAARETZ: Otherwise Occupied / The dark knights of the Israeli army: Are soldiers teaming up with settlers?

ottobre 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Were sheep really almost stolen from the illegal outpost of Havat Maon – or did its residents use soldiers to harass residents of the nearby village of a-Tawani?

By Amira Hass – October 14, 2013

On Sunday, October 6, residents of the unauthorized and illegal West Bank outpost of Havat Maon suspected that someone was trying to steal sheep from the flock owned by Yehoshafat Tor. “A resident of Havat Maon spotted two suspicious people on the farm’s land,” declared a news item on the right-wing website Hakol Hayehudi (“The Jewish Voice”). The item went on to explain, “Despite the looming suspicion that this was a criminal act, Israeli army troops decided to initiate the procedure known as ‘Dark Knight 3,’ pointing to the suspicion that an armed terrorist had infiltrated the community. Nearby communities were also alerted that an infiltration might have taken place.”

At nightfall, the dark knights raided the nearby Palestinian village of a-Tawani, whose olive trees are vandalized at least once a month (as of press time, the last time this happened was October 4). The police and the army never catch the vandals. This is the village whose residents are frequently stopped by certain Israelis from taking their animals out to pasture while the army stands idly by or actively stops them as well. This is the village where children cannot attend school without an escort, either from the army or international peace activists, for fear of being attacked by Havat Maon residents.

A single flash bomb got the village’s inhabitants out of their homes, and they discovered settlers in their village. “There are settlers in the village, there are settlers in the village,” they shouted. When the settlers began walking toward the school, the residents followed. “We asked them why they had entered the village, and they didn’t answer,” Mahmoud Salman told Eitay Mack, an independent lawyer. They had flashlights, which they pointed at homes and school and trees. Then they went toward the wadi. Then the villagers saw soldiers with the settlers. “We asked the soldiers why there were settlers in the village, but they didn’t answer,” Salman said. At that point, the soldiers began searching homes.

Salman’s father, Salman Rabai, 68, heard knocking so loud that it shook the front door, and the soldiers shouting “Open up, open up!” Rabai, who describes himself as ill and elderly, limped toward the door, leaning on his cane. When he opened the door, the dark knights aimed their rifles at him. They kept the weapons trained on him as he limped, on their orders, to every door in the house and opened each one.

“I asked them what they wanted,” Rabai told Mack, but they did not answer. They touched nothing in the house; they only looked. But that was enough to make Rabai’s 3-year-old granddaughter tremble with fear for a long time afterward.

Then the soldiers went to the neighboring home, as Rabai followed them. “My nephew — it was his house — was afraid and didn’t want them to come in. He told the soldiers there were small children inside. One of the soldiers got annoyed and pulled out a hand grenade. He threatened to hurl it if he wasn’t allowed inside. I intervened. I told the soldiers to calm down, that everything was all right. I opened the door myself. Another soldier took the grenade away from the comrade who had made the threat and told him there was no need to search the house. Then they went to another house.” Oops — maybe the sheep-stealer/armed terrorist was hiding there?

The soldiers got into an argument in the other house, too. One of them ordered all the residents out, including the small children who had already gone to sleep and were now frightened. But one of them said, “The little ones can stay inside.” In the end, more soldiers arrived, aimed their rifles, searched and forgot to order the inhabitants out.

Aisha Harini and her five children were already asleep. Later, Harini would hear that her husband and eldest son had been stuck at the village entrance. She awoke to loud knocking on both metal doors of her home. The soldiers also knocked on the windows, breaking the glass. “I was afraid to open the door by myself, without my husband. The children and I hid in an inner room. All the children, except for two who hadn’t woken up, clung to me. Two of them were crying. I told them to calm down and didn’t speak with the soldiers. I heard them go up onto the roof. They stayed there for about 20 minutes. Then…I saw soldiers ransacking the room and looking in the refrigerator. They also moved two sacks of grains.”

Meanwhile, another group of soldiers blocked the village entrance with jeeps, stones and tires. Gradually, residents — including women, children and babies — who had returned from Yatta and were not allowed to continue to their homes gathered there. It was cold. The soldiers shouted and took car keys from the drivers. They yelled at them, ordering them to stay in their cars and forbidding them from talking on their cellphones. The women tried to take their frightened children home. The soldiers, those chivalrous knights, shoved them violently and blocked their way. After about an hour and a half, more army vehicles arrived. Seliman Adra recalls that a Border Police officer told them: “‘Take your cars and get back on the road to Yatta. There’s an incident in progress here.’ When we asked them to let the women and children go home, the soldier said, ‘I don’t want to let you in — I don’t want there to be a conflict or a fight.’” Later, Adra realized that the “conflict” the soldier referred to was with the settlers who had broken into the village.

Were suspicious figures really spotted in Havat Maon? Or did the settlers enlist the soldiers as part of their upgraded scheme to harass the village? The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit did not respond to questions from Haaretz as Eitay Mack has filed a complaint with the Military Advocate General.

 

NENA News: Firing Zone 918, parlano i palestinesi

ottobre 11, 2013 at 8:15 am

La Corte Suprema chiede la mediazione tra Stato e comunità palestinesi a rischio evacuazione. I palestinesi accettano ma sono chiari: “Non ce ne andremo dalle nostre terre”.

di Operazione Colomba per Nena News

At-Tuwani, 11 ottobre 2013, Nena News – I giudici della Corte Suprema israeliana hanno scelto la mediazione tra lo Stato e gli oltre mille palestinesi che potrebbero essere sfrattati dalle loro case e dalle loro proprietà (in quanto inserite dentro l’area dichiarata “Firing Zone 918” – area di esercitazioni militari dell’esercito israeliano) come strada per tentare di mettere fine alla battaglia giudiziaria iniziata circa 15 anni fa.

Il mediatore proposto dal tribunale è il giudice Yitzhak Zamir. La difesa, ovvero i palestinesi, hanno già accettato la decisione della Corte, mentre lo Stato israeliano, il 4 ottobre, ha chiesto più tempo per decidere se accettare la mediazione oppure no. La cosa risulta a dir poco assurda, dato che lo Stato nell’estate del 2012 aveva risollevato la questione presso l’Alta Corte dichiarando una necessità urgente dell’utilizzo dell’area.

I palestinesi hanno accettato la mediazione, pur sapendo che questa si inserisce all’interno di un processo che al massimo potrà portare al rispetto della legalità, ma non raggiungerà la giustizia.

Così, infatti, commenta il suggerimento di mediazione il coordinatore del Comitato Popolare di resistenza delle colline a Sud di Hebron (dal 1999 le comunità palestinesi dell’area hanno intrapreso un’incredibile esperienza di resistenza popolare nonviolenta, sostenuti da attivisti israeliani e internazionali): “Abbiamo il dovere di chiedere giustizia, ma non ci siamo mai fidati totalmente della giustizia israeliana, perché è inserita nella strategia dell’occupazione. Noi crediamo nei nostri diritti, noi crediamo nel nostro destino: restare su questa terra. Ed è una lotta costante. Quando dico lotta costante intendo che la gente dell’area deve affrontare tutte le strategie che l’occupazione mette in atto allo scopo di cacciare i palestinesi dalle loro terre, strategie che vanno dall’impossibilità di accedere ai servizi, alle violenze dei militari e dei coloni. Vivere qui, in queste condizioni, e resistere all’occupazione non è affatto facile. Il prezzo che questa lotta ci richiede è molto alto. Ma noi siamo pronti a sopportarlo”.

Sulla stessa linea il commento di Salem Musa, quando gli chiediamo che cosa desiderano le persone del suo villaggio: “Il nostro messaggio per tutto il mondo è che noi vogliamo rimanere sulla nostra terra. Non abbiamo un altro posto dove andare. Vogliamo vivere qui. E viverci con l’acqua corrente, l’elettricità e le strade carrabili. Non vogliamo che l’esercito ci impedisca di muoverci o pascolare le greggi. Non vogliamo più soffrire a causa dell’occupazione. Vogliamo rimanere sulla nostra terra, ma senza soldati”.

Salem vive ad Al Majaz, uno degli otto villaggi che rischia di essere evacuato. Una vicenda che dura dagli anni ’70, quando le terre intorno al suo e ad altri 13 villaggi palestinesi sono state dichiarate da Israele “Firing Zone 918”, area di esercitazioni militari a munizioni vive. Nel 1999 tutti i villaggi dell’area sono stati forzatamente evacuati (per maggiori informazioni clicca qui). Dopo appelli all’Alta Corte di Giustizia israeliana, l’evacuazione è stata sospesa e gli abitanti sono tornati alle loro case. Ma nell’estate del 2012 il Ministero della Difesa israeliano ha chiesto all’Alta Corte di riaprire il caso, rimettendo di nuovo a rischio la possibilità dei palestinesi di abitare e condurre la propria vita quotidiana nell’area.

I pastori e gli agricoltori palestinesi di questi villaggi si trovano ad affrontare decisi impedimenti a migliorare le loro condizioni di vita. La mancanza di strade carrabili, di servizi sanitari, dell’elettricità e l’impossibilità di costruire qualsiasi infrastruttura in un’area considerata ad utilizzo militare, rendono la vita una sfida giornaliera. A questo si aggiungono minacce e violenze da parte dell’esercito. La notte tra il 3 e 4 luglio, ad esempio, trenta soldati hanno fatto irruzione nel villaggio di Jinba (uno degli otto che rischia l’evacuazione), accompagnati da due coloni che accusavano i palestinesi di aver rubato loro delle pecore. I soldati hanno perquisito diverse case palestinesi, sfondandone le porte e lanciando bombe sonore, una delle quali è entrata in una casa e un’altra ha colpito un uomo che dormiva all’aperto. I soldati hanno picchiato quattro palestinesi, mentre tre sono stati detenuti per tutta la notte. Questo è solo uno di molti episodi di intimidazione.

Nonostante questo, Salem e gli altri circa mille palestinesi che vivono nell’area non hanno dubbi su quale sia il posto dove costruire il proprio futuro. E non hanno dubbi sul fatto che la proposta di mediazione sia insufficiente. Come si può mediare tra la richiesta di pastori e contadini che vivono da generazioni su queste terre, e qui vogliono rimanere, e le pretese di un esercito occupante che reclama la stessa terra per esercitazioni militari (con la motivazione che esercitarsi qui rappresenterebbe “un risparmio in termini economici e di tempo”), andando contro le convenzioni di Ginevra e dell’Aia? I palestinesi vedono nella mediazione, piuttosto, una delle tante strategie dell’occupazione per continuare a non fare giustizia, poiché la questione non è solamente se questi villaggi verranno evacuati o meno, ma l’area militare in sé viola i diritti umani di chi lì abita e le leggi internazionali.

Così, infatti, conclude il coordinatore del Comitato: “Al di là delle analisi politiche, la questione è semplice: quello che sta avvenendo qui è un’ingiustizia e una violazione di tutti i principi dell’essere umano, dell’umanità. Ma noi siamo convinti che verrà il giorno che vedrà la fine di questa ingiustizia. Dobbiamo perseverare nel nostro impegno nella resistenza nonviolenta. Ciò significa che affronteremo tutte queste politiche di occupazione attraverso azioni e manifestazioni nonviolente, grazie alla solidarietà e al supporto di israeliani e di internazionali. Finché non otterremo giustizia. Finché l’occupazione non finirà”.

HAARETZ: Settlement security coordinator blocks road to Palestinian villages, gets off with rebuke

ottobre 10, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Despite finding the man guilty of operating outside his authorized territory and committing a criminal offense, Israeli army hasn’t removed him from position.

by Chaim Levinson – October 10, 2013

The security coordinator for the West Bank settlement of Avigail who is responsible for the placement of a roadblock preventing access to the adjacent Palestinian villages will remain in his position.

A Haaretz investigation found that Ahikam Halleli, the security coordinator for that area, who was responsible for initiating and implementing the incident, got off with a mere rebuke by the Israel Defense Forces commander in Hebron, Major-General Avi Bluth.

On August 18, several settler youths from the outposts Mitzpe Yair and Avigail built a roadblock on the dirt road leading to four Palestinian villages – Jinba, Bir el-Eid, Markaz and Hallawa – all located in Firing Zone 918.

Human rights organizations summoned the army, who arrived to the area, spoke with the youth and cleared the rocks. Upon leaving, the settler youth once again blocked the road until nighttime. Israeli soldiers and police returned and once again re-opened the road. Palestinian residents also complained of a stench coming from a water cistern nearby, likely due to an dead animal left there by the youth.

Residents of Avigail say that Halleli did it to avenge the theft of a car from the Mitzpe Yair outpost a few days earlier.

“He emailed all the residents,” a settler living in the area said, “writing that there were several car thefts committed recently, including the day before. Residents were requested to arrive the next day at 6:30 in the morning to help block the road. Ahikam qualified the activity as ‘important.'”

Local settlement councils employ security coordinators, paying their salaries. The army is responsible for vetting each one, and is also his exclusive acting supervisor. Settlement security coordinators are subject to military disciplinary law and IDF investigations and army commanders sign off on maps delineating the territories within which they can act.

In this case, Halleli was operating outside his authorized territory, in addition to committing a criminal offense.

Following Haaretz’s request for a response, Major-General Bluth summoned Halleli for an investigation. Halleli admitted he initiated the roadblock, but Bluth decided to make due with a reproach and keep him in his position.

Halleli has in the past been involved in transferring material for illegal settlement construction. In that case as well, as a result of a Haaretz inquiry, he was called in for an investigation and merely rebuked. He claimed he did not know the materials were being used for illegal construction, and promised it would not happen again.

Halleli refused to comment on this case. The IDF Spokesperson said in a response that a thorough investigation was conducted following the incident, including a conversation between the army commander and the said security coordinator.

“During the conversation it was made clear beyond any doubt that this behavior is not in line with the IDF’s values, and constitutes an impaired decision, as a result of which proper procedure was restated. This was an isolated incident that does not reflect general behavior, as the IDF consistently examines its civilian security officials.”

The press release about the incident occurred on August 18: http://snipurl.com/27ystqj

Video of the incident: http://snipurl.com/27nvjb3

Israeli army invaded South Hebron Hills village of At Tuwani overnight

ottobre 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm

PRESS RELEASE

Israeli army invaded South Hebron Hills village of At Tuwani overnight 

Access roads to the village were blocked and soldiers broke into Palestinian houses

(Italian follows)

October 7, 2013

At Tuwani – Large Israeli military forces broke into the South Hebron Hills village of At Tuwani Sunday night and surrounded it. The army blocked accesses to the village and searched numerous Palestinian homes, finding nothing.

At 7.10 pm At Tuwani inhabitants informed Operation Dove volunteers about shooting that occurred near the Havat Ma’on outpost. From the Palestinian home located closest to Havat Ma’on, the volunteers noticed that headlights from the outpost were shining light on the entire Humra valley, located beside it. The volunteers then saw several people walking in the valley, flanked by military jeeps.

At 7.40 pm several flares were shot from various positions around At Tuwani, as Israeli military jeeps and soldiers on foot began to approach the Palestinian village from three different directions. At the same time five settlers and three soldiers entered At Tuwani. The soldiers left the settlers alone, who checked the area using headlights. The settlers were from Mitzpe Yair, Avigayil and Havat Ma’on, all Israeli outposts located in the South Hebron Hills area.

At 8.10 pm two international volunteers went to the entrance of At Tuwani, where they found eight military vehicles. Israeli soldiers were stopping Palestinian cars, searching them, body-searching all the male passengers and taking the vehicle keys. Two army jeeps remained there to block the road and did not allow anyone to enter the village while six jeeps entered At Tuwani. In total five Palestinian-owned cars with about eleven men, three women, an elderly person and a child were stopped. The soldiers allowed the people to return home after more than two hours.

In the meanwhile, soldiers broke into Palestinian homes in At Tuwani and searched them, frightening the inhabitants and in some cases threatening to arrest Palestinians and internationals who were filming the events. The Israeli army searched the local mosque, five homes -one with just women inside- and two stables, without finding anything.

At least ten army and two Border Police vehicles invaded the village, in addition to numerous soldiers on foot.

The reaction of At Tuwani inhabitants demonstrates how they are strongly involved in using nonviolence as a way to resist the Israeli occupation: all village residents demonstrated solidarity in the homes invaded by the soldiers;; some residents were filming the developments; the women made pressure on the soldiers, who ran after them, to open the road. Finally, some Palestinians invited soldiers to drink tea while they were breaking into their houses.
The absence of aggressive behaviors toward the soldiers and the constant presence of cameras substantially contributed to a decrease in the level of violence.

The Israeli army left At Tuwani village at 10.30 pm, providing no explanation about the military operation to the internationals and the local inhabitants.

Operation Dove has maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and the South Hebron Hills since 2004.

Pictures of the incident: http://snipurl.com/27y2is8

Video of the incident: available soon

[Note: According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Hague Regulations, 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 considered illegal also under Israeli law.]

——-