Tue 19.7.11, Morning
Translation: Bracha B.A.
There is a big, elaborate building on Route 317. It houses the offices of the South Mount Hebron Regional Council. Israeli flags hang along the walls from top to bottom. We can see where the taxpayers' money goes to.
We decided to go to Tawani following stories of yet more attacks by settlers from Maon on the shepherds and their escorts from the peace movement.
The first thing we saw there was a heartwarming picture of the local men paving the access road to the village and moving stones that reminded me of my grandparents' pictures of the third Aliya.
We met local residents as well as people from the C.P.T. and Operation Dove. They told us that yesterday at 16:00 the shepherds had asked for their escort as they were again attacked by settlers. And, sure enough, at 18:00 three settlers came down from Maon with their faces masked and holding clubs. The volunteers saw them coming and warned the shepherds, who managed to get away. Since the settlers didn't manage to beat up the shepherds they attempted to throw stones and beat the volunteers. After a few minutes, while the volunteers photographed the incident, they left. Fortunately no one was hurt. The police and the army were called and arrived in force, but did nothing, and none of the settlers were arrested. They expressed regret over what had happened and excused themselves, saying "that's all we can do."
These incidents occur repeatedly, and the behavior of the security forces also repeats itself every time: they come, express concern, and don't arrest any settlers. One of the volunteers reported that he went to the police in Hebron to lodge a complaint. They were very pleasant and even drove him back to Tawani. The man is a foreign citizen and the local residents would have not received such pleasant treatment. That is no doubt the reason for their presence there. We spoke again with the volunteers and the security forces, and the settlers continue to behave violently, but evidently this is of insufficient interest to both the media and the Israeli public at large.
There are signs of a summer camp taking place on the Federman Farm. Shimshon Brigade soldiers patrol the city but did not detain anyone. On the other hand, soldiers from the Border Patrol at the Pharmacy Checkpoint are detaining many. We ask the same questions and get the same answers, and they admit that they are there to guard the settlers.