House demolitions in a firing zone in South Hebron Hills
On Thursday, November 21, 2019, at 12:30 PM, the director of the Civil Administration, the Border Police, a Volvo bulldozer and workers who looked Russian arrived in two cars with yellow license plates arrived at Khalat Al-Daba south of Tuwani.
They surrounded a house which they wanted to demolish and which had been built by a man who was about to get married the next day and which had been built on the grounds of his family. Demolished the house and left. This is the third time this year that a house of this family has been demolished and also confiscated 2 tents. I was called to the scene and photographed. This was different as usually they come to demolish between the hours of 8-9 in the morning.
Basel gave me a map of the area in English, which he had received from Breaking the Silence and explained: Southeast of Tuwani is marked as a large target area. This area contains 12 small Palestinian communities, which were expelled from there in 1999, and returned by order in the High Court. It is clear to me that the policy is to try to evacuate them from the area completely.
There also seems to be a policy of "divide and rule" by pushing a wedge between communities within the fire area, and Tuwani for example, which is outside this area, and the P.S.C. (Protection and Summud Committee), the Committeee of the Activists of Tuwani and Volunteer Activists Committee from Operation Dove - The Struggle this struggle is based on solidarity with these 12 communities.
The map of Breaking the Silence shows that Tuwani and other localities are located as being on an archaeological site which is larger than the actual settlement. Of course, this is another way of abusing Palestinians on the grounds that there are important Jewish antiquities there. I remember an archaeological conference in Jewish Susya where it was claimed that Tuwani contains an ancient synagogue. In practice the excavations there only discovered a Byzantine church. The settlers' attempted to come pray there (another way of establishing facts in the area), but the Palestinian landlord covered the place with ground until the interest of the Civil Administration died down and planted trees there.
Basel also mentions that there is a cherry picking festival every year that attracts crowds of Jewish travelers and the settlers' attempts to swim in ponds of Carmel, west of Tuwani.
Another small Palestinian community of one family, Bir al-Eid, south of Tuwani, is outside the area but is between two settlements, the Yair Mitzpe and the farm of Jacob Talia and that is a recipe for disaster.
On this occasion I will add a personal facet. My granddaughter in the 6th grade is at a school in Gush Etzion and she arrived with the class for a school trip in the area: Susiya's Antiquities Site, Mitzpe Yair, then on foot to Abigailת accompanied by security forces. In Abigail - visit to the spacious house of one resident who is a teacher in the school in Gush Etzion, and from there to prayer in the Cave of the Patriarchs. The narrative of the trip is that the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel past and present, there are no Palestinians.