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.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Left in the Dark: Israeli Military Denies Electricity to At-Tuwani

Finally got this video edited. Lots of hours, lots of footage. I hope it was worth it. We are working on a report which documents the past 8 year struggle to bring electricity to At-Tuwani. But in the meantime, this video will suffice.

Here is a little summary of the events, which provides some context before you see the film.

At-Tuwani, South Hebron Hills, Occupied Palestine

This video documents the struggle of the people of At-Tuwani to bring electricity to their village. The Israeli occupying forces have systematically denied At-Tuwani the proper permits to legally connect to the Palestinian electrical grid. At-Tuwani is located in Area C (under the Oslo Accords) and must apply for construction permits through the Israeli administration. After 8 years of submitting applications and documents and receiving no answer from the Israeli administration, the At-Tuwani Village Council decided to begin work on the pylons needed to connect to the electrical grid. The Israeli military immediately stopped the work and issued demolition orders. Later the Israeli military and police carried out the demolition orders, removing and confiscating two electrical pylons.

A brief summary of the recent events:

At-Tuwani, South Hebron hills On Wednesday, 25 November, the Israeli military and police removed and confiscated two standing electricity pylons from the village of At-Tuwani. The electricity pylons had been installed by the villagers of At-Tuwani in an effort to connect to the electrical grid in Yatta, a Palestinian city to the north. The Israeli military declared the area around the pylons a closed military zone in an attempt to prevent Palestinians and international activists from obstructing or documenting the confiscation. Nonetheless, dozens of villagers came out in protest, and barricaded a police jeep from entering the village.

Despite a recent visit by Tony Blair, the Quartet's special Middle East envoy, in which Blair assured villagers of At-Tuwani that the Israeli authorities gave oral permission to carry out the electrical construction work, the community has faced repeated interruptions as it struggles to bring electricity to the area. (see CPTnet release:At-Tuwani hosts former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair to address Israeli occupation and violence in the southern West Bank)

On Friday. 30 October, the Israeli military forcibly stopped the village's electrical work. Officers from the Israeli District Coordinating Office (DCO), detained Mohammed Awayesa, a Palestinian worker from Ad-Dhahiriya and confiscated items including a truck, a mechanized lift and a large spool of electrical cable. No written orders were produced for the detention, confiscations or work stoppage. (see CPTnet release: Israeli military stops work to bring electricity to At-Tuwani; confiscates building materials)

On 28 July, 2009, the DCO issued a demolition order for six newly constructed electricity pylons in At-Tuwani.

On 25 May, 2009, the DCO entered the village and ordered residents to halt construction work on the electricity pylons. No written orders were delivered. (See URGENT ACTION: Demand that Israeli occupying forces allow At-Tuwani to bring electricity into their village)

See photos from 25 November 2009 at http://cpt.org/gallery/album299


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great job sam! diane j