P/R: Settlers attacked member of the South Hebron Hills Popular Committee

dicembre 31, 2013 at 1:48 pm
One Palestinian required medical treatment while Israeli authorities
slow to investigate attack
(segue versione in italiano)

December 30, 2013

At-Tuwani – South Hebron Hills, West Bank

On December 28, a group of settlers attacked Palestinians who were plowing a field in the South Hebron Hills village of At Tuwani. Hafez Huraini, a member of the South Hebron Hills Popular Committee (SHHPC), was injured in the attack.

According to Huraini, at about 2.45 p.m. five settlers, of whom four were children and one an adult, came out from the illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on  (Hill 833) and attacked four Palestinians who were working their field, which borders the illegal outpost. The adult settler approached Huraini and hit his head with a stone.

Numerous At Tuwani residents subsequently gathered in the field, thus scaring the settlers’ away. However, the settlers continued to throw stones from the Havat Ma’on woods for an additional fifteen minutes, after which they left.

Huraini immediately called the Israeli police to register a complaint about the attack, but the police did not arrive immediately. The injured thus went to the hospital in the nearby town of Yatta to be treated. The Israeli police arrived only at 4.15 p.m., while Huraini was still in the hospital. The police stayed close to the outpost without speaking to the Palestinians. District Coordination Office (DCO) officers also arrived on the scene and spoke with the police, before leaving at around 4.30 p.m. After an additional ten minutes the police also left without waiting for Huraini. Later that night Huraini went to the Kiryat Arba police station to file a complaint against the attacker.

The village of At-Tuwani is situated in the South Hebron Hills, defined as area C. According to the Oslo accords, area C is part of West Bank under full Israeli civil and security control. As like many of the Palestinian villages located in area C, At Tuwani suffers from settler and military intimidation and violence. As a result, At Tuwani residents encounter great difficulties in accessing their own lands for their everyday farming activities.

But, as Huraini said: “This is resistance: to go daily to your land. We are protesting every day, every night.”

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

Pictures of the incident: http://snipurl.com/28dii7u

[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: Israel: Palestinian farmers to blame for settler attacks on their land

dicembre 26, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Responding to damage claim, the state claims ‘price tag’ victims at fault for failing to duly protect their land.

By Amira Hass, Dec. 26, 2013

The state is claiming that Palestinians who were the recent target of a “price tag” attack are to blame for their misfortune – because they failed to adequately protect their plot of land.

This position arises from the state’s response to a damages claim filed by the owners of an olive grove situated in Area C, under full Israeli military and civilian control. The IDF, for its part, is refusing to install lighting around the olive grove to protect it from future vandalism, arguing that a claim for damages has already been filed.

The grove, which belongs to the Amour family, lies adjacent to highway 317 in the southern Hebron hills, across from A-Tawani village, the settlement of Maon and the outpost Havat Maon. This case can well serve as a litmus test for the seriousness of declarations made by civilian and military authorities, according to which they will take action against price tag vigilantes.

In 2006, unknown persons cut down all 120 trees in the grove. In 2011, part of a surrounding fence was destroyed and a tree was felled. On the night of May 9 of this year, half of the trees belonging to the Amour family were chopped down, and the act was accompanied by a message sprayed in Hebrew letters, saying that “price tag is fed up with thieves – mutual responsibility” and “regards from Eviatar”. The perpetrators used hand saws to achieve their mission.

After each of the incidents, the Amour family filed a complaint with the police, asking for protection against future vandalism.

Ten days after the third incident, attorney Itai Mack, representing the family, appealed to Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz, who was then head of the Civil Administration in the territories, asking him to specify what actions he would undertake to prevent further acts of vandalism. Mack was relying on a 2006 decision by the High Court of Justice which ruled that the authorities must “devote manpower for the protection of Palestinian property, must open an immediate inquiry when reports of harassment are received, and send out patrols by security forces to locate such activities.”

Almoz’s bureau responded by saying that the person to handle such matters was Lt. Ronnie Rivlin, the officer in charge of public complaints at the IDF’s Central Command. However, two letters to Lt. Rivlin, sent on May 23 and June 5 by attorney Mack, went unanswered.

AIC: Hebron Hills hit by storm

dicembre 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Published on 19 December 2013, written by Alternative Information Center

A damaged roof after the storm

Last week a powerful snowstorm hit the West Bank, bringing the region to a standstill. The small communities of the West Bank’s South Hebron Hills did not escape the extreme weather conditions and a number of properties in Khallet Athaba’ and Al Mufaqarah were reported damaged.

On the night of Wednesday the 11thof December, snow fell on the South Hebron Hills and gale force winds battered the small communities, causing a number of damages. The community of Khallet Athaba’, which lies within the borders of Firing Zone 918, was the most affected.

The residential tent of one family was torn open by the gale, allowing gushes of water to leak inside. At another home, the concrete bricks of the structure crumbled and collapsed, causing the roof to cave in.

A window made from plastic sheeting was completely destroyed by the strong gale, letting rain and snow inside and causing partial flooding, which destroyed many of the family’s belongings.

The roof of another house was shattered by a boulder that detached from a nearby rock face and hit the metal sheet covering the small shelter. Fortunately, the owner managed to escape his home before it was too late. The house was flooded and all of the residents’ belongings were ruined by water and mud.

The family, including small children, found themselves out in the open and decided to move into a cave normally used to shelter livestock.

HAARETZ: IDF barred Israeli activists from West Bank

dicembre 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm

By Amira Hass | Dec. 22, 2013

On commander’s orders, group that came to protect Palestinian farmers was turned back at border.

Soldiers prevented activists from Ta’ayush Arab-Jewish Partnership from entering the West Bank on Saturday, by order of the regional commander. For 13 years members of Ta’ayush have been accompanying dozens of Palestinian shepherds and farmers on the southern West Bank every Saturday, to help protect them from Jewish settlers who regularly try to keep them from reaching their private lands.

The soldiers separated the cars of Ta’ayush members from the rest of the Israeli cars entering the West Bank through the checkpoint on the Tunnel Road (Route 60) and the Betar checkpoint. When they reached the checkpoint, south of Jerusalem, Border Police officers showed them a military order, signed by the commander of the Etzion Regional Brigade, Col. Amit Yamin, restricting their movements.

At the Betar checkpoint the soldiers told the group they were waiting for the order to arrive from brigade headquarters and ordered them to remain until it did. The activists waited for a time but when the order did not arrive they passed through the checkpoint on foot.

Soldiers and police officers pursued them. Soldiers confiscated the keys of the Palestinian taxi the activists had boarded, and only returned them when the group got out of the cab.

Some of the Ta’ayush members did manage to reach the southern Hebron Hills, but at five different Jewish communities where they planned to help nearby Palestinian villagers they were shown documents declaring the areas closed military areas and signed by Judea Brigade commander Col. Avi Balut.

The activists and the Palestinian landowners were ordered to leave the communities: the settlements of Sussia and Carmel and the unauthorized outposts Maon, Havat Maon, Avigail and Mitzpeh Yair. Three of the original group of 20 activists, whom the soldiers at the Tunnel Road checkpoint did not identify, did escort one of the Palestinian farmers in the area of the Nokdim settlement.

The order reads: No person shall pass through the checkpoint except with permission given by me or a person authorized by me.

The IDF Spokesman stated: “The IDF is responsible for maintaining law and order in Judea and Samaria. Every week there are provocative gatherings in the area of Sussia and Mitzpe Yair, which have at times led to violent confrontations between residents of the area and even with the security forces. In accordance with the assessment and security considerations, it was decided not to allow free passage to all the buses, which, according to the assessment, were carrying people who were liable to disrupt public order, and to examine their entrance individually at a number of checkpoints in the southern area of Judea and Samaria.”

Ta’ayush activists near Havat Ma’on

The high price of letting Israel’s extremists flourish

dicembre 16, 2013 at 10:49 am

Israel should drop its reluctance to enforce the law against ‘price tag’ attackers.

By Ziad J. Asali, Dec. 15, Haaretz

Violent assaults, desecrating mosques and churches, uprooting trees, destroying cars, and damaging property – these are all examples of “price tag” attacks carried out by extremist Israeli hooligans against Palestinians, mainly in the occupied territories. In a few cases this violence has even been perpetrated against Israeli security personnel. Unfortunately, and consistently, the thugs responsible often enjoy de facto impunity for their crimes.


Nel giorno del sole

dicembre 6, 2013 at 9:30 am

Nel giorno di sole del 26 novembre mi fermo, dopo tanti giorni passati a correre su queste colline di sassi ed erba secca, a provare a guardarmi dentro, a prestare ascolto ai pensieri che mi rimbalzano, disordinati, per il cervello.

Sono sulla strada che porta a Mufaqarah, i ragazzi e gli uomini di tutte le famiglie di questo villaggio lavorano, spaccando pietre, per costruire il muretto a secco che costeggia la strada.
Ci danno dentro di brutto, urlano, scherzano, sudano e ridono senza fermarsi.
Ogni tanto un bicchierino di shai (con lo zatar o con la marmilla) scandisce il tempo e ricarica le energie: tutti si fermano, trovano un po’ di rami secchi per il fuoco. Un ragazzetto prende il borrado (la teiera) e prepara il tè, servendolo prima a noi ajaneb e poi ai più vecchi. Gli shabbab, i più giovani, aspettano che noi vuotiamo i bicchieri prima di riempire i loro. E’ il momento in cui ci si raccontano le storie, si commentano le notizie dei villaggi vicini e noi italiani siamo al centro dell’attenzione visto che ci muoviamo nell’area in lungo e in largo e conosciamo un sacco di persone. Poi, al cenno di M., il capovillaggio, giovani e vecchi insieme ricominciano a faticare, lasciando anche i discorsi a metà. Sono spesso stupito da questo loro atteggiamento, ma ora lo so, la gente qua è dura come le pietre: le parole infatti, a volte sono un di più, una cosa non strettamente necessaria rispetto al rumore del vento o del suono delle mazze che aprono le pietre. E il lavoro è ancora lungo e da finire prima delle piogge. Tra loro, c’è anche Ibrahim, un tipo un po’ matto… “Mishkino” mi dice M. a metà tra il divertito e il compassionevole “un poveretto, ritardato. Lui andrà sicuramente in paradiso. Allah ha voluto questa sua sfortuna sulla terra, per poi dargli una fortuna più grande, dopo. E’ malato in testa, ma è puro di cuore”.
Ibrahim viene preso in giro e lui sempre sta al gioco: si diverte a scambiare noi italiani per coloni israeliani, ci parla in ebraico, ci insulta. I ragazzi gli dicono di essere gentile con gli ebrei, che in fondo gli hanno “solo” portato via la casa pestandolo a sangue. Lui allora ritorna a parlare arabo e sembra far il gentile salvo per poi imprecare improvvisamente all’indirizzo delle nostre mamme e tutti ridono, e pure lui, felice di essere al centro dell’attenzione.
Lavora come un mulo, non si ferma neanche per il tè con tutti gli altri, che pure si fanno in quattro.
Ed è proprio in questi giorni di lavoro intenso che gli viene riconosciuta una funzione sociale, che si sente utile all’interno della comunità. Lui è quello che “tira” più di tutti, curvo sul suo piccone a spaccare queste rocce millenarie, quasi stesse combattendo la lotta antica della diversità contro il pregiudizio, abbattendo i muri a suon di mazzate.

Penso che ho molto da imparare da lui, da questo suo fare senza rivendicare piagnucolando, da questo suo affrontare di persona il proprio problema, esponendo e scoprendo anche le parti più deboli della propria persona.
E’ questo che posso ricevere da lui, il capire che le debolezze che gli altri vedono in noi sono una finestra aperta sul nostro essere, una via d’accesso per una accettazione completa di noi.

Se teniamo chiuse le imposte, se non mostriamo le nostre debolezze e le nostre paure più recondite, nascondiamo le vie d’accesso più profonde e più dirette. Per questo mi ritengo fortunato di aver incontrato Ibrahim: lui sa di essere un “mishkino”, un pazzo e non lo nasconde. Non chiude le imposte.

E poi mi guardo, mi vedo da fuori goffo e maldestro, in questo giorno di sole che non lascia spazio alle ombre: quali finestre posso aprire io?


UPDATE: Demolition orders delivered in Jawwaya

dicembre 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm

One of the structures under demolition order

On December 2, at about 11:40 am, two Palestinians from Jawwaya came in At Tuwani showing a demolition order for a house under construction, belonging to Ahmed Shawaiin, delivered few minutes before (at around 11.25 am). After that, two OD volunteers accompanied the Palestinians to Jawwaya, because they said that an other demolition order was delivered in the same time. When the OD volunteers arrived in the village, they saw an other demolition order under a stone near a tent used as a shelter for the sheep, belonging to Khalil Shawaiin. These demolition orders follow the stop working orders delivered on October 28.

The tent under demolition order, with a member of the Shawaiin family