Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Villagers nonviolently resist Israeli military delivery of nine Stop Work orders; Soldiers strike child, arrest adult

At-Tuwani, South Hebron Hills, Palestine - In the afternoon of 20 July 2009, Israeli soldiers and representatives from the Israeli District Coordinating Office (DCO) delivered stop work orders for seven Palestinian houses, one cave, and one cistern around the village of At-Tuwani.

Palestinian children and adults gathered around the Israeli authorities. One Palestinian admonished the DCO officers to deliver demolition orders to the illegal buildings in the Israeli outpost of Havat Ma'on, which continues to expand. Palestinian children surrounded each house and chanted loudly to impede the DCO's efforts to leave the orders at each house and make using radio and phones difficult for the DCO and soldiers. In addition, Palestinians sat in front of the military and DCO and prayed together.

While delivering the stop work orders, a member of the DCO struck a small child and an Israeli soldier shoved a Palestinian civilian to the ground. Israeli police arrested a Palestinian man who was protesting the stop work orders and charged him "threatening soldiers."

One of the houses had already been destroyed the night of 16 July (See 20 July CPTnet release, AT-TUWANI: New Palestinian house and olive tree destroyed in the night ) The Palestinian homeowners suspect that Israeli settlers from Ma'on or the Havat Ma'on outpost perpetrated the destruction. The family began rebuilding their home the next day.

The Israeli military often issues a stop work order prior to a demolition order; after which the Israeli military may demolish the structure at any time.

Despite Israeli settler and soldier harassment to discourage the growth of the village of At-Tuwani, Palestinians continue to assert their right to develop and build on their own land.

Photos from the day are available at here.