Southern Hebron Mountains: Settlers bathe in a Palestinian water cistern
We set out towards noon to also see what happens during the short working days due to Ramadan.
But we went mainly to hear from Bassel and Nasser Adara from a-Tuwani what happened on Saturday the 24.4.2021 with the settlers of Havat Maon. (This is one of the most violent settlements and their favourite occupation is harassing and scaring the children going to school. The soldiers are supposed to protect the children but often do not arrive and when they do, do little to protect the children).
In the square next to the junction of the Meitar checkpoint, soldiers are standing. It is not clear why. The fence which has a gap in it through which people can go without being checked by the soldiers remains like this and men and women pass unhindered despite the presence of the soldiers 200 m away.
The shattered windows in Nasser's car also testify to the drama that was three days ago. Nasser says: There is a place next the village called Humra where the Palestinians graze and there is also a cistern used to irrigate the sheep and for the shepherds. Suddenly two settlers arrived and went to bathe in the pit. F., the Palestinian, approached and asked them to get out of the water which is used for drinking purposes only. They left but then in their place settlers began to flock in droves. A vehicle with reinforcements and weapons arrived. The settlers were shouting , “Get out of here, this is our land." They were beating the Palestinians and throwing stones at them.
Ta'ayush (an Israeli group which fights for human rights) arrived in an attempt to support the Palestinians and were also beaten. Only after an hour did a military jeep arrive. The soldiers stood and spoke to the settlers and did nothing.
The incident continued and spread in the direction of Umm Fukara. The stone-throwing at the Palestinians continued. Then the soldiers started throwing gas grenades instead of calming the situation. Women and children who were there fainted. Remember that this is at noon when people are fasting.
A bus arrived with 50 more settlers and the situation continued as before. 5 to 6 Palestinian vehicles were damaged by the stones. Only after about an hour and a half did the police arrived. Nasser thinks they came late on purpose.
The members of Ta'ayush tried to talk to the police who demanded that leave and that they had no right to be there. All attempts also by F. and M. to calm things did not succeed. Jassem Hamamda was injured by a stone to his leg. He said that he went to the police to complain about the gas cannisters but they would not accept the complain. They said they did not want to file his complaint. Nasser and Bassel think that this attack was planned a long time ago and carefully. This according to the large amount of settlers who arrived so conveniently. Only when the DCO men arrived and talked to both sides did the winds calm down. The men from the DCO promised to take care of the matter.
No one believes that this will be done and that there will be justice.
The picture shows the broken windows of Bassel's car.