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Operation Dove: South Hebron Hill Settlers attack Palestinian boy and internationals

21 October 2010 | Operation Dove

At-Tuwani – On Thursday, 21st October, at around 9.20 am, two Operation Dove volunteers, coming back to the village of At-Tuwani after having visited some Palestinian families in the village of Tuba, were attacked by Israeli settlers from the illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on (Hill 833).

While walking, the internationals received a phone call by a Palestinian shepherd who was with his flock on a upper hill and warned them about some settlers who were quickly approaching. A few minutes after the phone call, two settlers, faces covered by t-shirts, appeared  where the internationals were walking. They shot stones with slingshots at the internationals who quickly ran away.

Later on, a few minutes after 1 pm in the same area, there was a similar attack on a Palestinian boy walking back home through the path on Meshaha hill. Two Operation Dove volunteers were on the top of the close Kharrouba hill to monitor the afternoon military escort of the school children from Tuba and Maghayir al Abeed when they saw an Israeli settler quickly coming out from the outpost, covering his face and calling reinforcements. Few minutes later, three more masked settlers appeared on the top of Meshaha hill and, together with the first settler, started to throw stones against the Palestinian. The boy, after running down in the valley, joined the internationals on Kharrouba hill and stayed with them until the settlers disappeared inside the outpost.

Israeli soldiers, who arrived after being called by the settlers, asked the internationals what had happened and if, according to them, the problems were in some way connected with the Palestinian olive picking activity. The commander then declared he was not proud of the settlers behavior and suggested the internationals call the police every time anything similar happens.

After the settlers attacked At-Tuwani village on June 12th 2010, internationals living in the area documented no other aggression during the summer. These latest events, preceded by the aggression of October 12th when two Israeli masked settlers chased two Palestinian young men and threw stones at them, appear to be a significant renewal of settler violence.

These kinds of incidents are frequent in the South Hebron Hills area, where national-religious settlers from settlements and outposts used to attack shepherds and farmers to intimidate and drive them to abandon their land. These illegal actions usually remain unpunished and, in many cases, happen with the complicity of Israeli army and police. The Palestinian community of this area choose to resist the continuous abuses of Israeli settlers and military with nonviolence.

Operation Dove and Christian Peacemaker Teams have maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and South Hebron Hills since 2004.