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.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Israeli military stops work to bring electricity to At-Tuwani; confiscates building materials

The Israeli military deny Palestinians the right to bring electricity into their village. I mean terrorists use electricity to plan their attacks, so it makes sense to deny Palestinians the ability to improve their living conditions? But really, can anyone think of a more-reasonable, less-racist rationale for prohibiting electricity.

Here's the press release. Oh, and the electricity construction equipment is still missing....errr, stolen.

30 October 2009

At-Tuwani – On Friday 30 October, the Israeli army forcibly stopped the electrical work of the village of At-Tuwani, located in the South Hebron hills. Officers from the Israeli District Coordinating Office (DCO), the branch of the Israeli army responsible for the administration of Palestinian civilian affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories, detained Mohammed Awayesa, a Palestinian worker from Ad-Dhahiriya and confiscated materials and tools being used for the electrical work. The
items confiscated included a truck, a mechanized lift, and a large spool of electrical wire. No written orders were produced for the detention, confiscations, or work stoppage.

Even though the army has given verbal permission to the community leaders to carry on the work, the DCO told the Palestinian workers and villagers that continued work on the electrical lines was illegal without a written permission from the DCO. The DCO took Awayesa and the materials to an
Israeli DCO office near Al Fahs, south of Hebron. The DCO released the man but is still holding the confiscated material.

Despite a recent visit by Tony Blair, special middle east envoy of the Quartet, where the former Prime Minister assured villagers from At-Tuwani that the DCO gave oral permission to carry out the electricity construction work , the community struggle to bring electricity to the area has been met with ongoing interruptions by the DCO. (See At-Tuwani release:
http://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2009/03/20/tuwani-tuwani-hosts-tony-blair-address-israeli-occupation-and-violence-southern-we). A spokesperson for Tony Blair, asked to comment on the military's most recent interference, said: "During a visit to At-Tuwani in March, Quartet Representative Tony Blair recognized the urgent need for the establishment of the necessary infrastructure for this village. He has since been urging the Government of Israel to facilitate the connection of At-Tuwani to the power grid. Furthermore, he has urged that such infrastructure be facilitated in villages across Area C."

On 28 July 2009, members of the DCO issued a demolition order for six newly constructed electricity pylons in the village of At-Tuwani (see At-Tuwani urgent action:
http://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2009/07/30/tuwani-urgent-action-demand-quartet-pressure-israel-revoke-demolition-order-electr).

On 25 May 2009, the DCO entered the village of At-Tuwani and ordered villagers to halt construction work on new electricity pylons in the village. No written orders were delivered. (see At-Tuwani urgent action:
http://www.cpt.org/cptnet/2009/05/26/tuwani-urgent-action-demand-israeli-occupying-forces-allow-tuwani-bring-electricit).