Operazione Colomba > Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories > Updates from Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories > Update: Tuwani /16-19 May 2005
Update: Tuwani /16-19 May 2005
15.20: two ODer volunteers and two CPTer volunteers reach two shepherds from Jawaia who have taken their flock to graze in the fields along the road between Ma’on settlement and the village of At-Tuwani.
16.37: the security man of Ma’on settlement reaches the volunteers and the shepherds and waits.
16.39: arrival of an IDF jeep (702865). The soldiers stop on the edge of the road and talk to two CPT volunteers and to the security man.
16.42: the soldiers go into the field and tell one of the shepherds that he has to go away from that place. A lively quarrel arises, the shepherd claims that he has the right to stay there while the soldiers want him to leave.
16.49: the soldiers reach their jeep and call the police.
16.57: the police arrives, stops there a few minutes and leaves without intervening.
17.18: another IDF jeep (611283) appears, the soldiers talk to the shepherd, who has reached them in the meantime, and they tell him that he must move to a field that is much farther than the one mentioned by first group of soldiers and they explain with gestures that – in case he doesn’t move – he will be arrested.
17.23: the soldiers get into the jeep and reverse, waiting for the shepherd to leave. He moves slowly while the captain keeps on telling him to get away.
17.31: two soldiers get out of the Idf jeep (611283), call the shepherd and make him get into the jeep under arrest. The volunteers tell the soldiers that this is illegal because an arrest would have been possible only in case the area had been a closed military zone, which is not. The captain replies that he can do whatever he wants and that he himself is the law there.
17.40: after a few minutes of discussion between the captain and the volunteers, the shepherd is released. The volunteers and the shepherd get away from the area and the soldiers leave the place.
7.16: nine children arrive escorted by a police vehicle. No policeman walk with them. About 150 meters before reaching Juma’s house, a policeman lets six children get out of the car and they join the group.
7.28: the 15 children get to school.
In the morning the volunteers go to Jawaia, where a shepherd has asked them to film the remains of some sheep (namely a head and half of another body) and four wounded sheep. According to the shepherd’s report, five sheep have been killed and four wounded by some twenty settlers of Ma’on settlement, who are alleged to have come armed in two cars on May 15 in the neighbourhood of the village where the shepherd’s flock was grazing. The shepherd has reported the event to the police of Kiriat Arba.
7.00: two ODer volunteers get to Surura to patrol children. The children should have arrived near the village before 7.20 since school starts in advance in this period and finish around 11.00 because children must take the final testing of the school year. The authorities responsible for their escorting had been informed of the time change.
7.40: the children have not arrived, yet. The volunteers make some phone calls and the father of one of the children of Tuba confirms that they have been waiting for the arrival of the escort near the settlement for an hour.
7.50: a volunteer calls the police of Kiriat Arba and informs the officer of the situation. The officer replies that they will send the escort.
8.05: an Idf hammer gets to Yuma’s house but it reverses immediately without reaching the children.
8.10: a volunteer calls the police again. The officer replies that he will inform the army. A volunteer informs Ta’Ayush and also Haghit (Machsom Watch) finds out about the incident.
9.23: the 13 children arrive escorted by an Idf hammer and by two soldiers on foot. 150 meters before Juma’s house, the soldiers get into the vehicle and go away.
9.38: the children get to school.
Comment: the children waited for the escort for more than two hours in a place that is unsafe for them, near Ma’on settlement and outpost.
They arrived late at school and could stay for little more than an hour.
11.10: 15 children are escorted by an Idf jeep from At-Tuwani to Tuba. Two soldiers walk with them.
15.30: two ODer volunteers and a CPTer volunteer get to Jawaia to patrol two young shepherds taking their flock to graze.
18.15: a security car of Ma’on settlement (6758158) with two men arrives. The security man takes several photos and at a short distance he takes photos of the shepherds’ faces. They react irritably. Settlers and shepherds have a lively quarrel; soon after that a car with three or four settlers – some of them are armed – appears. Immediately an Idf jeep (7360157) follows and while the soldiers talk to the shepherds and the settlers, some ten young settlers on foot and five shepherds from Jawaia get to the place. Another Idf jeep arrives and the soldiers in this vehicle prevent the volunteers from going on filming with the video recorder what is happening. One DCO car (1263729), two cars and a jeep of the police (22262-1) come to the place, too.
While the quarrel is going on, the police wants to see the film recorded by the volunteers and, after having questioned them, takes them to the police station of Kiriat Arba together with two shepherds from Jawaia to present a denunciation. The videotape is held by the officer.