On the 1st of December about 200 people demonstrated against the settler violence and the isolation of the Palestinian village Tuba in the very south of the West Bank. Local Palestinians, joined by many Israeli peace activists and internationals, walked from the neighboring village At Tuwani to Tuba on a path that villagers normally can not use because of constant violent attacks from neighboring settlers. Today there is no vehicle access at all to Tuba because of the illegal Israeli settlement Maon which blocks the only road to the village. This isolation is a huge problem, all transports must be made by foot or by donkeys, including fuel, important for generating electricity.
The villagers have been suffering a lot of violent attacks from the illegal settlers over the years. The children of Tuba have to pass the illegal settlement every day on their way to school in At Tuwani. After numerous violent attacks on the schoolchildren and their international accompaniment the army has been forced to escort the children to and from school every day. But this does not guarantee a safe walk for the kids. Once when the soldiers actually tried to defend the children from attacking settlers, the soldiers were later punished by the army for their actions.
The Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) is planning to make the whole area, including the villages of Tuba, At Tuwani and Susiya, into a closed military zone, something that would force all the Palestinian inhabitants to abandon their homes where they have lived for generations. Today almost all the houses in the villages are threatened to be demolished by the army, not even the new mosque is spared. Making an area into a closed military zone is usually a step towards further illegal annexation and colonialization of the land. The villagers are fighting for their rights to live in their own homes in their own village and today’s demonstration showed that many Israelis support their struggle.