June 17, 2019 | International Solidarity Movement | South Hebron Hills, occupied Palestine
Settlers bearing sticks from the notorious Havat Maon illegal outpost tried to attack a Palestinian home two nights ago in the village of At-Tuwani, South Hebron Hills – the latest in a stream of attacks against the same home.
The Zionist attackers ran towards the house on June 15, which belongs to the Rabai family, bearing sticks but retreated after children playing nearby called out to their parents.
The group of around 8 settlers were seen running back into the line of trees encircling the illegal settlement, situated just 300m from the Palestinian home.
Due to the close proximity of the Rabai house to the outpost, it faces near constant assaults, with settlers often breaking the windows and even attacking members of the family.
A member of the Rabai family told ISM that he has had to replace the windows at least five times.
Occupation forces, called by the settlers, marched to the house shortly after the incident, claiming that 49 Palestinians had attacked the initial aggressors with stones.
However, not only was it clear that Palestinians had not started the assault, it was also clear that there were nowhere near 49 villagers at the scene.
Four IDF soldiers tried to enter but were prevented by the presence of other villagers, local activists and international observers.
The soldiers eventually left without making arrests. However, the Rabai family requested ISMers to stay on the roof till morning in case soldiers returned to detain anyone in the middle of the night.
The soldiers did not come back to the house but were seen making patrols until the early hours of the morning.
The family’s home is the closest house in At-Tuwani, a village of 350 people, to Havat Ma’on outpost, making it a prime target for the 40 particularly violent settlers who live there.
One member of the family, who prefers not to be named, told ISM that the settlers had previously thrown stones at his mother and wife while she was carrying their child.
‘My house can never be empty,’ he tells ISM. ‘My daughter is crying in the middle of the night, if she sees the gun of the soldier she will shout, ‘they will kill us, they will kill us!’
In the past, settlers would try to attack the house on a daily basis. The Rabai family have to be on constant alert. ‘I keep my clothes and shoes ready by my bed,’ he told ISM during the incident.
At-Tuwani and its surrounding villages have been terrorised by the settlers of Havat Ma’on and other illegal outposts – as well as by the soldiers that protect them – for 20 years. But despite using vicious tactics to scare the Palestinians into leaving, including poisoning their sheep and water supply and beating farmers and international observers, the villagers have held their ground.