Thursday, October 20

MCC Palestine Prayer Request - 20 October 2005

MCC Palestine Prayer Request

20 October 2005

Dear friends,

The following is a report published this morning on the website of the Israeli daily Haaretz. It describes the situation in a village in the south Hebron hills called at-Tuwani where the Palestinian residents continue to be terrorized by members of a nearby Israeli settlement. Following this report is another email alert sent out this morning by Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) who have maintained a presence in at-Tuwani for over a year now, accompanying children on their way to school as well as shepherds with their flocks—mundane tasks under any normal circumstances but, as these articles tell, in this context activities that have resulted in attacks on and severe beatings of both Palestinians and CPTers by these settlers.

With the recent news of the Israeli military’s refusal to escort Palestinian children to school, the fear is that these settlers will step up their terrorizing tactics against the residents of these villages, including the children simply trying to walk to school. CPT is urging an active response from those who are willing and have provided a list of offices to contact to express concern.

We were in at-Tuwani earlier this year and have seen the conditions in which the residents of this and the surrounding villages are forced to live under. We were in Hebron only two days ago and were once again witnesses to the continuing collective punishment the Palestinian people are dealt by this illegal system of oppression.

You prayers at this time are greatly appreciated as are any of the urged actions described below. Suggestions for steps for moving towards action by advocating for a justpeace for Palestinians and Israelis can be found at MCC’s “Bridges Not Walls” website: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), a DC-based working group to which MCC is a member, has also provided advice on steps towards advocacy, especially as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is meeting with U.S. President Bush:

As always, any questions or comments you may like to share with us are welcome.

Peace to you all,

Timothy and Christi Seidel
Peace Development Workers
Mennonite Central Committee – Palestine

Last update - 09:44 20/10/2005
IDF calls off escort of Palestinian schoolchildren in Hebron
By Amira Hass, Haaretz Correspondent

The Israel Defense Force's Central Command has decided to cancel the military escort for Palestinian children on their way to school in the area south of Hebron in the West Bank, Haaretz has learned.The military escort, which was introduced about a year ago, protected the children from repeated attacks by Israeli settlers near the Maon and Havat Maon settlements.The escort was canceled Wednesday following the murder Sunday of three young settlers from the region at the Gush Etzion intersection, because settlers began to gather in groups on the roads and the IDF is reluctant to clash with them.Palestinian and diplomatic sources told Haaretz that they feared revenge acts in the area following the murder. They reported that a group of settlers had gathered in the Havat Maon area near Khirbat Tawana.The road to Khirbat Tawana is closed to Palestinian vehicular traffic, so the children of the area have to walk to the school there. Because the children are afraid of the settlers, members of the Christian Peace Teams (CPT) used to accompany them as protection until about a year ago, but the peace activists were attacked and beaten by settlers several times while escorting the children.A Machsom Watch activist raised the issue of the settlers' attacks on the children in the Knesset's Committee for Children's Rights last year, and the committee ordered the IDF to ensure a permanent escort for the children.Since then the IDF and Israeli police officers have alternately escorted the Palestinian children to school.


----- Original Message -----
From: "CPTHebron" <>
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:21 PM
Subject: [cpthebron] AT-TUWANI URGENT ACTION: Demand Israeli Military Control Settler Violence

19 October 2005
AT-TUWANI URGENT ACTION: Demand Israeli Military Control Settler Violence

On Sunday, 16 October three Israeli settler youths were killed and one was injured in a drive-by shooting on the by-pass road from Hebron to Jerusalem. All four youths were residents of Ma'on and two other settlements in the south Hebron hills, close to the village of At-Tuwani. These settlements are home to some of the most radical, violent settlers in the West Bank. The gunmen have not been caught, although two different Palestinian organizations have claimed responsibility. No At-Tuwani resident was involved. The Jewish holiday of Succoth began Monday evening at sundown and in the following days CPTers observed more settlers in the area. On Wednesday morning, settler security from Ma'on approached CPTers Diana Zimmerman and Jenny Elliot while they were waiting on a hillside next to Ma'on for the children from Tuba. Settler security informed CPTers that settlers were gathering in Ma'on, that settlers were angry and looking for a fight, and that if CPT didn't leave the hill immediately "there would be violence". The Israeli military escort for the school children of Tuba was cancelled. Zimmerman and Elliot returned to the village of At-Tuwani and gave this information to the villagers. At sundown Wednesday (about 5:15PM) CPTers spotted at least eight settler vehicles driving through At-Tuwani and up the hill toward the outpost of Havot Ma'on (Hill 833). None of the vehicles stopped in At-Tuwani. At 7:00PM CPT received a phone call from the Israeli peace group Ta'ayush to pass on information from the Israeli military (this information was also confirmed by the Israeli organization Machsom Watch) that: 1. school security escorts by the Israeli army and police for the children from Tuba are suspended indefinitely due to "security reasons"; 2. the settlers are making plans to come down to At-Tuwani and start trouble this evening; and 3. there is no way the Israeli army can control the settlers if they attack the village. CPTers and the villagers of At-Tuwani ask you to call the following individuals in the Israeli military to demand that the Israeli military fulfill its obligation to protect all people under its jurisdiction in the occupied West Bank. Ask them why the Israeli military made statements that they would do nothing to intervene in the case of violence against Palestinians. Work your way down the list of Israeli military numbers first, note that some may turn their phones off or be busy with other calls. Keep trying. Secondly, contact the Israeli embassy officials in your country.

Major Joseph Leazi, Head of International Organizations for the IDF cell phone: 011-972-506-234-090 office: 011-972-2-997-7744 2nd Lieutenant Roee Oren, Deputy Head of International Organizations for the IDF cell phone: 011-972-506-234-178 Lieutenant Colonel Alex Rosenzweig, Commander of the District Liaison Office of the Hebron District cell phone: 011-972-506-234-015 Lieutenant Colonel Ofer Mebtal, Head of Liason for the IDF in the Hebron District cell phone: 011-972-506-234-017 Lieutenant Moti Stolovitch, Liason for District Coordinating Office (DCO) Hebron District cell phone: 011-972-506-234-161 Israeli Embassy, Ottawa: Phone: 613-567-6450, Fax: 613-237-8865 Israeli Embassy, Washington, D.C., Defense and Armed Forces Attaché Phone: 202-364-5403, Fax: 202-364-5406


Christian Peacemaker Teams is an ecumenical initiative to support violence reduction efforts around the world. To learn more about CPT's peacemaking work, please visit our website at: Photos of our projects may be viewed at:


No comments: