30th December 2013 | Operation Dove | At Tuwani, Occupied Palestine
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.
[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.]