P/R: New “price tag” attack in South Hebron Hills

novembre 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm

270 olive trees damaged in the area from the beginning of 2013

(Italian follows)

November 30, 2013

At Tuwani – On the morning of November 29, a Palestinian noticed several olive trees damaged in two fields close to the outpost of Havat Ma’on. The owner is Rabai Palestinian family. When international observers arrived to the place, they counted 25 olive trees cut or seriously damaged. According to Rabai family, some of these olive trees were planted last year, after that the olive grove was damaged by settlers from Havat Ma’on.

The number of Palestinian-owned trees uprooted and damaged in the South Hebron Hills area from the beginning of 2013 now stands at 270. This is a substantial increase over 2012, when 101 olive trees were damaged.

This is the last case of serious olive grove destruction in the South Hebron Hills area. On the first of the 2013 year, on May 10, 62 olive trees were cut during the night in a field next to bypass road 317, near the village of At Tuwani. On a small wall near the olive grove the slogan “price tag for those who steal” was found.

According to Nir Hasson (Haaretz, August 21, 2013), “Jewish extremists originally used the term ‘price tag’ to describe vandalism and violence that targeted Israelis as well as Palestinians and was aimed at preventing or avenging evacuations of West Bank settlers.” John Lyons, instead, wrote (The Australian, September 17, 2011): “Some settlers practice a ‘price tag’ policy: if the Israeli government does something they do not like, such as trying to close an illegal outpost, they in turn punish Palestinians, by poisoning or burning olive trees, desecrating mosques or attacking cars.” Finally, according toThe Economist (September 2011): well-armed settlers “exact what they call ‘price-tags’ […] in the hope of provoking a conflict which they feel sure they could win.”

Olive trees are an essential resource for the Palestinian community in the South Hebron Hills area, and their damage causes serious economic loss.

Nevertheless the Palestinian communities of the South Hebron Hills area are still strongly involved using the nonviolence as a way to resist to the occupation.

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

Pictures of the incident: http://snipurl.com/288w2n1

For further information:

Operation Dove, 054 99 25 773

[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.]

HAARETZ: Israeli security forces kill three armed Palestinians suspected of planning terror attack

novembre 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm


By Gili Cohen, November 26, 2013

Night raid in Yatta, At Tuwani views

Israeli security forces on Tuesday killed three armed Palestinians suspected of planning a terrorist attack against Israel in the coming days.

The three were killed in a joint raid by troops from the special police unit and the Shin Bet in the South Hebron Hills village of Kafr Yatta.

The suspects were members of a Salafist group operating in the Hebron area, the Shin Bet said in a statement, adding that pistols and explosive devices were found in their vehicle during the raid.

A senior Israeli officer said that a manhunt had been out after this particular group for the last week. He said the Israeli forces had opened fired in the direction of a vehicle carrying two of the passengers during the raid, and that an exchange of fire subsequently erupted.

“This is a local organization of a cell with an extreme religious orientation,” said the officer. He said forces were currently chasing other suspects in the territory. 

Witnesses told Haaretz that large forces surrounded several houses in the eastern edge of the village and declared the area a closed military site, preventing the residents from leaving their homes for hours on end, and that many youths clashed with the soldiers, hurling stones at them, and being repelled by gas grenades and rubber bullets.

Yatta residents identified the dead as Moussa Pansha, 22, Mohammed Nairuh, 23, and Mahmoud Anjar, also in his twenties, adding that all three were members of the Salafist movement of the village. There were contradictory reports as to whether the three were killed after exchanges of fire or were ambushed by an Israeli unit.

The Shin Bet investigation revealed that the cell had planned a series of terrorist attacks against Israeli targets, apparently plotting to kidnap and Israeli soldier, and against targets in the Palestinian Authority. A number of activists from the same terrorist cell had recently been arrested in the Hebron and Nablus areas, said the Shin Bet.

A wanted Palestinian was killed about a month ago near the West Bank village of Bili’in an exchange of fire with Israeli forces that had come to arrest him.

The Palestinian, 28-year-old Mohammed Aatsi, had been one of the masterminds behind the bombing of a Tel Aviv bus during Operation Pillar of Defense. He had been arrested several times in the past for his activity with the Islamic Jihad terror group.

Another two Palestinians, also activists with the Islamic Jihad, were arrested in the same raid.


Night raid in Yatta, At tuwani views

Defaults of the military escort for the children of Tuba and Maghayir Al Abeed

novembre 27, 2013 at 8:47 am

On sunday November 24, the escort didn’t accompany the children along the path from Tuba to At Tuwani school. The children arrived at the place in which was supposed they had to meet the escort at 7.55 AM and the escort wasn’t there. International volunteers called at around 8.00 AM the DCL, at around 8:05 AM and at around 8:10 AM the army. At about 8:15 the children chose to go to school by the long way, accompanied by two international volunteers. The children arrived at the school around 8:45.

On monday November 25, the children arrived at the place in which was supposed they had to meet the escort at 7:35 AM and they didn’t find the escort. After few minutes, international volunteers called the DCL and the Israeli army in order to make pressure. When the volunteers called the army, the army replied that they didn’t know that the escort didn’t come. At the second call probably the phone line went down or the army didn’t want to reply. So, the volunteers called Yesh Din and this organization called the army. The army answered to Yesh Din that the escort arrived, but they didn’t find the children, so they went away. The children decided to take the long way accompanied by two international volunteers. During the path, one settler’s car drove towards them, the two international volunteers and a Palestinian shepherd that was grazing near the long path. In spite of the scare, the children arrived to the school, at around 8:40. At 9:48 Dcl called the international volunteers asking if the escort accompanied the children or not, and at what time the children arrived at the chicken barns, suggesting to remember to the children to be on time in order to not give to the army the excuse to be late or not arrive.

Since the beginning of the school year, the children walked along the long way without escort 7 times.

UPDATE : Palestinians, Israelis beaten and detained for attempting to access Palestinian-owned land in South Hebron Hills

novembre 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Like all Saturdays, for almost one year already, Palestinian landowners in the South Hebron Hills are claiming their right to return to their land, on which Israeli settlers from Mitzpe Yair have built greenhouses


On November 23 at around 8.30 am, Palestinian, Israeli and international activists organized an action to access Palestinian-owned land in Umm Al Arayes, located adjacent to the Mitzpe Yair outpost. When several people arrived to the area for the action, Israeli soldiers immediately approached them, showing a military order that extended the permanent closed military zone (usually limited to a valley between a Palestinian village and the Mitpe Yair outpost) to the entire Mitzpe Yair area, including the Palestinian-owned land..


Despite the closed military zone order, Palestinians, accompanied by Israeli activists from Ta’ayush, an Arab and Jewish grassroots nonviolent movement, decided to enter their land, but were stopped by a group of settlers who began beating them.The settlers also attacked the Israeli activists, kicking, breaking and stealing their cameras. The soldiers, arriving to the area running and attempted to push everyone away – except for the settlers. After beating the Palestinians, the Israeli soldiers violently detained 15 of them in addition to two Israeli activists, forcing them to sit on the ground. Ta’ayush said that Israeli forces threatened death to those who tried to stand up, while the soldiers further discouraged videotaping the incident. Men and women were separated to prevent communication. Several of the detained people were beaten. After several minutes all the persons detained were released, except for five Palestinians (including the landowner and two girls aged 22 and 13) and two Ta’ayush activists, who were taken to the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba.


They were charged with assaulting and beating the soldiers, entering in a closed military area, in addition to interfering with police work.


For the landowner this was the second time in November that he was arrested while attempting to access his own land.

 (Israeli forces threathed to death who tried to stand up and soldiers dissuaded to tape also. They separated boys from girls to prevent the communication. Some people under detention were beaten).

Police demanded a 1000 shekel bond for each person to be released.

During the entire event, no action was taken against the settlers by the Israeli soldiers or police officers.

In previous weeks, like on Saturday, the Israeli army declaration of lands as closed military zone has impeded the Palestinians from accessing their land and this right. Since 2001 the Palestinians in the area have faced restricted access to these lands.

Video of the incident: http://youtu.be/4VPjd1AQEg8

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

[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.]

UPDATE: Two Palestinian shepherds and B’tselem staff member detained by Israeli army

novembre 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm

22 November 2013

At Tuwani – On the morning of November 19, two Palestinian shepherds and a staff member of the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem were detained by Israeli army in the South Hebron Hills. The shepherds had been grazing their flocks on  Khelly Hill, At Tuwani village area. This hill is located adjacent to the Israeli settlement of Ma’on.

At 7.50 a.m. international volunteers noticed the Ma’on security coordinator, named Gedalia, was close to two Palestinian shepherds, while three Israeli soldiers were also approaching them.

The soldiers spoke with Gedalia and then asked the Palestinians for their identification cards,  which they did not have.
Gedalia tried to prevent the internationals from videotaping this incident.

After several minutes Gedalia, in front of the soldiers, said to the Palestinians: “You come from Carmel (a village near At Tuwani), you go back to Carmel and you stay over there and if you want to come here, you have to come with your ID”. The Palestinians responded by questioning his authority to give them orders.
At around 8.00 a.m. a B’tselem staff member arrived to the area and the Ma’on security coordinator began to scream at him. At 8:25 a.m. the soldiers asked the B’tselem staffer, who is  Palestinian, for his ID card. They took  without any explanations. The soldiers told the internationals that Palestinians aren’t allowed to graze sheep in that area, although the soldiers showed no maps and gave no clear explanations about this decision.

At around 8.30 a.m. Israeli police arrived and, after consulting with the Ma’on security coordinator and soldiers, took the two Palestinian shepherds to the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba, accusing them of grazing their flock on Israeli land and moving without ID cards. The two shepherds were released after 2.5 hours, after police checked their identities. During this entire time, the Palestinian staff member of B’tselem was detained without charge and without any explanation. At around 11.30 a.m. soldiers returned his ID card to him.

On October 15, Operation Dove volunteers were present when an Israeli soldier, under the orders of the aforementioned Ma’on security coordinator Gedalia, arrested a Palestinian shepherd without any charges (see more: http://snipurl.com/287iuex). After taking the shepherd to the Suseya military base for interrogation and to check his identity, they left him near the outpost of Shi’ma, somes 17 kilometers from the place of arrest.

UPDATE: South Hebron Hills. Another action to protect the right to education

novembre 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm

At-Tuwani – On November 10, the South Hebron Hills Popular Committee (SHHPC) and the At  Tuwani school built a tent near the village of At Tuwani.  This tent was funded by the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem; in it the schoolchildren from Tuba and Maghayir Al Abeed will be able to wait the Israeli army escort during the winter and the rainy days. Indeed, children from these South Hebron Hills villages, aged 6 to 16 years, need a military escort to protect them from the several attacks that they have suffered since 2001 by settlers of Havat Ma’on on the route to the school. The army escort was established in November 2004 by “Children Rights Committee” of the Israeli Knesset. 

This is the third time that the SHHPC built the tent: first time was on March 16, the second on March 17. In these two times, Israeli police and army stopped the works and dismantled the tent. On March 17 they dismantled it and confiscated the construction materials, also (see more: http://www.operationdove.org/?p=944).

The tent is a real need for the children from Maghayir al Abeed and Tuba. Indeed, from the beginning of the school year (August 25), the children waited for the escort to come back home on the 67% of the school days, for a total of about 20 hours.

On October 23, Palestinians children from Tuba and Maghayir Al Abeed, with the solidarity of their schoolmates, teachers, the SHHPC, the Freedom Bus artists, Palestinian, Israeli and international activists, protest against the settler violence and the negligence of the Israeli army escort.  In contravention of the protective mandate of the escort, since the beginning of this school year, soldiers didn’t walk with the children during the escort, failed to complete the path on 94 % of the cases, leaving the children exposed.

This situation of exposure to violence and lack of security compromises children’s fundamental right to education. The Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills proved yet again to be strongly involved in claiming their rights (included the right to education for their children) and resisting the Israeli occupation, choosing the nonviolent way.

P/R: South Hebron Hills’ Outpost of Havat Ma’on Continues to Expand

novembre 11, 2013 at 9:35 am

Despite documentation, Israeli officials deny knowledge of expansion

(Italian follows)

November 11, 2013

At Tuwani – The Israeli outpost of Havat Ma’on (Hill 833) in the West Bank’s South Hebron Hills is growing at a phenomenal rate since the beginning of October. On Saturday November 9, the activist group of Ta’ayush (an Arab and Jewish grassroots nonviolent movement) and international peace activists entered the outpost in order to document the illegal works taking place and to ask the Israeli authorities to stop the expansion.

The activist group videotaped a large construction site, but settlers and the Israeli police and army prevented them from fully documenting the expansion of Havat Ma’on. Furthermore two masked settlers attacked the activists, throwing stones at them. In spite of the presence of the Israeli police, there were no consequences for the attackers.

Later, two settlers from Havat Ma’on came toward the nearby Palestinian village of At Tuwani.  One settler approached a Palestinian home and provoked the residents. A group of Palestinians from the village gathered near the house and the settler was distanced by the police.

The inhabitants of the nearby Palestinian village of At Tuwani and international observers have documented the expansion of Havat Ma’on since October 6, when they photographed a scraper while it was entering the outpost; they also later heard noises from the construction works. Several days later, internationals documented an excavator digging the land. Documentation of the entire construction process was not possible, however, because of the presence of woods that obstruct the view.

Despite receiving several notices of this expansion, when an Israeli activist informed the Israeli official responsible for the infrastructure of Hebron and the South Hebron area from the District Coordination Office (DCO), the official declared that DCO officers inspected the area and did not see any construction work.

From Havat Ma’on outpost come a lot of violences and threats against the local Palestinian communities. Just in the lands surrounding the outpost, Operation Dove volunteers have recorded a total of 43 incidents since the beginning of the 2013 in which local settlers are involved: 13 cases of Palestinian property damages (primarily olive trees); 13 violent attacks and 17 harassments and threats against Palestinians, Israelis and internationals.

While the Palestinian and Bedouin villages of Area C, including the South Hebron Hills, suffer from Israel’s ongoing policy of demolitions and threats, the nearby outposts and settlements continue to expand.

“Most of Area C has been allocated for the benefit of Israeli settlements, which receive preferential treatment at the expense of Palestinian communities, including with regard to access to land and resources, planning, construction, development of infrastructure, and law enforcement” declared the United Nations OCHA oPt (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in occupied Palestinian territories) in the report regarding the Area C, issued on January 2013.

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

Pictures of the incident: http://snipurl.com/285e8i5


For further information:

Operation Dove, 054 99 25 773


[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.]

VIDEO: Sodastream presents…How to profit from Occupation, Oppression and Apartheid

novembre 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Sodastream’s factory is in an llegal Israeli settlement built on land stolen from Palestinians. Each and every package contains human rights abuses and violations of international law. Boycott Sodastream. Sign the petition at:  http://sodastreamboycott.org/

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HAARETZ: Israel’s military advocate: IDF training inside Palestinian villages is legal

novembre 6, 2013 at 7:57 am

After NGO files complaint against Israeli military training inside West Bank villages, IDF’s Military Advocate General says legality of training is anchored in principles of ‘belligerent occupation.’

By Gili Cohen – Nov. 3, 2013

There is no legal barrier to Israel Defense Forces training inside Palestinian villages in the West Bank, according to a document prepared by the IDF’s Military Advocate General.

Maj. Harel Weinberg, the MAG’s deputy prosecutor for operational affairs, wrote that the legality of training inside Palestinian villages is anchored in the principles of “belligerent occupation,” by which the military commander, who is the sovereign authority in the area, is obligated to maintain security and public order in the West Bank, and so must hold occasional training exercises in populated areas.

Still, Weinberg wrote that troops taking part in such training were required to “avoid putting the population at risk, damaging their property or causing unreasonable disturbance to their daily routine.” The document was written in response to a complaint filed by activists of the Yesh Din NGO following a series of incidents involving IDF training in villages.

In one incident last May, troops held an exercise in the middle of the village of Amatin. In another case three months ago, during Ramadan, the army held a training exercise at Tel Rumeida in Hebron while a family there was eating breakfast in their yard. According to a report by family members, about 15 soldiers broke into their yard without permission, scattered throughout both floors of the home, and practiced breaking into a home using special equipment — all while family members were inside.

The IDF Spokesman said: “After looking into the matter, the Military Advocate General found that there was no legal obstacle to holding training in inhabited areas as part of maintaining security in the area. The orders issued for the drills that take place in populated urban areas include a statute requiring coordination with the ones doing the drill. It will also be made clear that as part of the training exercises, the soldiers must avoid putting the population at risk, damaging their property or causing unreasonable disturbance to their daily routine. Anywhere that there are deviations from these rules, the Military Advocate General will order that clarification be given and will take the appropriate measures.”

Israeli settlers block sole access road to South Hebron Hills village of Bir Al Idd

novembre 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

At Tuwani, 4 November 2013

Yesterday morning Palestinians from the South Hebron Hills village of Bir al Idd found the sole access road to their village closed by a road block composed of two big stones. These stones were placed precisely in front of the nearby illegal outpost of Mitzpe Yair.

When at around 8:30 AM several Palestinian, Israeli and international activists arrived on the scene, they saw the road block (most likely made by the settlers) and a settler shepherd grazing his sheep on the field adjacent to this path.

The activists immediately informed the Israeli army so the road block would be removed. Five minutes later Israeli soldiers arrived at the area to monitor the situation, but they didn’t remove the roadblock.

The activists then called the Israeli police and waited for about 40 minutes, but the police failed to arrive. The road block was then removed by the Israeli army at around 1.00 pm.

This is not the first time this kind of harassment occurs on this road. On August 18, settlers from Mitzpe Yair built there twice in one day a road block, which prevented access to the village for over six hours (see more: http://snipurl.com/27ystqj).