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CPT: Israeli military blocks main access road in South Hebron Hills


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On 28th May, 2008, the Israeli military blocked the road between the village of At-Tuwani and the city of Yatta using three of the concrete blocks from the dismantled wall along Route 317. The blocked road is the main vehicle access for Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills to travel to and from the city of Yatta. The main health services, including maternity provision, are situated in Yatta, and several villages in the South Hebron Hills are now effectively cut off from these services. Yatta also serves as the economic hub for the
entire region, and the roadblock prevents the supply of basics such as food, water, and animal feed to the villages.

A village spokesperson in At-Tuwani told members of Christian Peacemaker Teams that the price of water transported into the village has doubled because the tankers will have to take an alternative, longer route. Some schoolchildren and the teachers at the elementary school in At-Tuwani travel each day on this road. Now they have to walk the remainder of the way to school, approximately a kilometer (just over half a mile). The Israeli military has closed or blocked many roads in the Hebron district in recent days.

On 29 February, 2008, Palestinians from At-Tuwani and the neighboring villages removed a roadblock from the same road. This particular roadblock comes at time of increased pressure on the villagers as they attempt to harvest wheat and barley from the fields near the Israeli settlement of Ma’on and the illegal settlement outpost of Havot Ma’on. Yesterday, just before the roadblock was erected, Israeli settlers attempted to steal wheat being harvested by the At-Tuwani villagers. The Israeli army intervened, but for the time being forced the Palestinians to leave the wheat in the fields.