P/R: South Hebron Hills Popular Committee nonviolently prevents Israeli forces from halting construction of a kindergarten
At Tuwani – On Sunday afternoon while Palestinians were building the structure for a new kindergarten in the South Hebron Hills village of At Tuwani, Israeli officials from the District Coordinating Office (DCO) and army came to confiscate the building materials. Palestinian men, women and children, coordinated by the South Hebron Hills Popular Committee, successfully prevented the Israeli forces from taking away most of the materials through a nonviolent action. After some three hours of confrontation, the Israeli forces took away a cement mixer and cart. No official confiscation order was delivered in advance.
At 1.30 pm men were working on the kindergarten construction site when DCO officials arrived to the area, accompanied by four soldiers. The same officers and soldiers had already been there earlier that morning, to take pictures of the new building. At 2.51 pm two army vehicles with eight additional soldiers arrived on the scene. In the meantime dozens of area’s inhabitants gathered to protest the ongoing confiscation. At 3.24 pm the Israeli police arrived and checked different Palestinian IDs and international passports. After ten minutes an Israeli truck arrived to carry away the building materials, while women and children were moving those afar to prevent the confiscation. At 3.55 pm three officers from the Border Police also arrived.
Palestinians interposed themselves to stop the Israeli forces. Soldiers and policemen filmed them and violently tried to push them away. Palestinians refused to leave the construction site, remaining steadfast in the place.
At 4.18 pm an ambulance arrived to assist a Palestinian man who had previously fainted and received help from Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. In the meanwhile a cement mixer and a cart were placed on the truck, which was taken away by the Israeli forces. Throughout the action an Israeli activist, international volunteers and B’tselem staff members were present, filming the whole action.
The building under construction would become the first kindergarten for the villages of the South Hebron Hills.
Palestinian communities of the South Hebron Hills area are still strongly involved in using nonviolence as a way to resist to the Israeli occupation
Operation Dove has maintained an international presence in At Tuwani and the South Hebron Hills since 2004.
For further information:
Operation Dove, 054 99 25 773