The locals came to At-Tuwani during the 20th century from the village of Yatta. They settled in abandoned ruins, utilizing the arable land, pastures for grazing sheep and the abundance of natural caves for habitation. The residents who settled in the caves came from families who could not purchase land for houses in the mother villages, as well as shepherds who did not have enough land to graze. They were joined by clan members who quarreled with other families in the mother locality.
Some of the residents today live in concrete buildings built above the caves. In the area of the village are several water cisterns and an ancient water well called Ein at-Tuwani. Local residents are forced to buy water in containers and transport them through many road blocks to the village. With the help of international organizations, an electrical system was installed in the village. In the late 90s of the 20th century, an elementary school was established in the serving several small villages in the area.
In 2004, MachsomWatch began visiting and reporting from the Khirbet Tuwani cave village, which suffers badly from the settlers of nearby outposts, and especially from the extremist Ma'on outpost. . The settlers contaminate cisterns, poison the flocks and uproot trees.
Particularly notable is the harassment of children from the surrounding villages on their way to school in at-Tuwani, so much so that military escort of children is required to separate them from the attackers (this was arranged following an initiative of the organization's members). In the past year, the escort has been without the vital presence of overseas volunteers.
Near at-Tuwani there are several families who have returned to the caves due to the incessant demolitions of the civil administration (as there is a total construction ban in all of area C). Destroyed are not only residential and agricultural buildings, but also water pipes, machinery. Even water cisterns are clogged up. at-Tuwani residents have created an association for non-violent demolition protests, but in the past year the army’s harsh harassment and settler violence have intensified and escalated. The incident of the small generator confiscation, which left a young man paralyzed, is one of many examples - any legitimate protection of property rights leads to violence and even shootings by the army and the civil administration.
Updated April 2022