Threatened In Your own Land

November 14th, 2006 § 0 comments

10 November 2006 – “Your heads will be on the stones if you don’t leave this place”, threatened an Israeli settler from illegal outpost Havot Ma’on (Hill 833), to members of Christian Peacemaker Teams in the Palestinian village of At-Tuwani. Captured on video, but ignored by district Israeli police, the threat is part and parcel of daily life for Palestinians – and the reason for the continuous presence of international human rights workers here since 2004. A few days later, during a “routine check”, I witness my neighbor being physically abused by Israeli soldiers. Such abuse often ceases when soldiers become aware that internationals are present, filming their actions.

Ancient At-Tuwani is located in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank, home to some one thousand Palestinians who reside in natural caves, living off the land and grazing their flocks of goats and sheep. The topography is harsh; there is no running water or electricity. Under complete Israeli control in “Area C,” many South Hebron residents have been expelled and had their homes and property destroyed. Israeli settlers have attacked villagers and human rights workers, and destroyed olive trees. Villagers’ livestock and one water cistern have been poisoned, an act UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Director Robert Kennedy calls a form of chemical warfare.


Is it any wonder that the Palestinians feel they have to take up arms?
Being threatened everyday, in your own land by people that have the army to back them up. Constantly having to resist pushing back, saying, shouting ‘No, this land is not yours’ for fear of yours and your loved ones lives being turned upside down, torn apart, crushed in to the dirt they want you to leave.
All in the name of security. Not your security, in your land. They need your land to make them secure, but it doesn’t make anyone secure. Not you. Not your neighbours.
Not them.
And so the cycle continues.

Labels: Israel, Palestine

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