Masafer Yatta | International Solidarity Movement
On October 25th, 2023, Israeli settlers and soldiers invaded the land belonging to a Palestinian family in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron, and used a bulldozer to uproot trees and destroy the family’s garden.
The colonial attack occured in the Palestinian village of Tuwani and targeted the Hourani family. The settlers and soldiers came from the illegal Israeli settlement of Havat Ma’on, located a few hundred meters away fom Tuwani.
ISM activists and Israeli activists filmed the scene. After one hour, once the settlers and soldiers had left, the activists approached the scene to assess the damage caused by the bulldozer. One settler, noticing that the activists were walking towards the land that had just been destroyed, ran back, screaming and pointing his assault rifle towards the activists. Israeli soldiers rushed to the scene and shot half a dozen warning shots towards the activists, making it clear that they would shoot them if they didn’t back off.
“They followed us right to the back of the Hourani property, shouting, taking photos of us close up, demanding to see passports but we refused to hand them over” an ISM activist recounted.
Since the start of the war on Gaza, colonial crimes in Masafer Yatta have escalated, with settler militias committing pogroms against Palestinian villages and families, and Israeli soldiers at checkpoints shooting at civilian cars without warnings.
On October 13th, an Israeli settler invaded Tuwani and shot a Palestinian man in the stomach at point blank range, while being protected by an Israeli soldier. The day before, Israeli settlers dressed in Israeli army uniforms had invaded Palestinian agricultural land, planted Israeli flags and started shooting towards Palestinians and solidarity activists. ISM activists have also reported that they have been threatened them and robbed them of their phones by Israeli soldiers.
In the past days, settlers have also stormed the Palestinians villages of Isfay, Tuba, and Maghayr Al-Abeed, physically assaulting people and damaging the water tanks and electric grids.
Palestinians from the group Youth of Sumud, together with internationalist and Israeli activists, have been documenting and non-violently resisting the colonialist attacks.
More than 103 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the start of the war on Gaza, with thousands more wounded or kidnapped by the Israeli army.