April 2017

CURRENT SITUATION

In the south Hebron Hills April was marked by the expansion of Avigayil illegal outpost, with a new building near a Palestinian valley, and the bleeding head of a boy from At-Tuwani who was hit by stones thrown by some settlers. At-Tuwani didn’t miss Israeli military presence as well. Following the presumed theft of beehives from Ma’on settlement, the army entered the village with a large number of soldiers with covered face, escorting an armed settler.
Furthermore Israeli forces denied access to Internationals in a Palestinian valley for 24 hours. The cause? A Scottish delegation who planted olive trees singing in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
During the days spent harvesting and transporting wheat and lucerne, which saw many Palestinian families busy in their work on the land adjacent to Ma’on settlement and outpost, groups of settlers wandered near such areas. They monitored, prayed, chased the shepherds, and stayed close to Palestinians and volunteers, pointing out their convinced supremacy on the surrounding land.

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February 2017

CURRENT SITUATION

The month of February has opened with the sad piece of news of the approval by the Knesset of a bill legalizing 16 Israeli outposts built on Palestinian land in the West Bank. The aim of the measure, as made clear by some Israeli politicians’ statements is to “regularize the status of settlements in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and allow them to develop”.
Furthermore the construction of another 10 km section of the separation wall in the area south-west of Hebron has been completed. It lies between the two checkpoints of Tarqumiya and Meitar.
In the area of the South Hebron Hills soldiers and settlers continue to set the rhythm of Palestinian residents life, limiting and hindering their freedom of movement by means of checkpoints, unjustified detentions, assaults and intimidation. In particular during the second half of the month, Operazione Colomba volunteers witnessed the demolition of a water well in the Bedouin Saraya valley, the sole drinking point for the flocks of the local shepherds. Since the beginning of 2017, as stated by a European Union report, 135 demolition orders, confiscations and evictions have been notified by the Israeli Administration. Such orders are clearly aimed at undermining the livelihoods and the economy of Palestinian residents of the area.

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January 2017

CURRENT SITUATION

In the South Hebron Hills 2017 did not start in the best way. It looked like the causes were distant, but developments were local. In December, UN’s decision to condemn Israeli settlements lit a little hope among the Palestinians, but in January the atmosphere changed dramatically with the arrival of the new US President, Donald Trump and the subsequent decision by Netanyahu to implement settlements in West Bank. Another fact that affected the area south of Hebron was the attack in Jerusalem on January 8. In the days following such attack the military escort for the school patrol was often hours late, or did not come at all, because was busy in controls and checkpoints.
At the same time road demolitions, attacks against International and Israeli activists by settlers, deliveries of stop working orders in the villages near Firing Zone and damage of Palestinian land by settlers kept going on.

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December 2016

CURRENT SITUATION

On December 23, the UN Security Council Resolution #2334 reaffirmed “the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by force, reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide strictly with its legal obligations and responsibilities […] condemning all measure aimed at altering the demographic composition, characteristics and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions.”
This recent decision clashes with the reality of a month characterized by the perpetration of abuses by Israeli armed forces in the South Hebron Hills: incessant raids and detentions of Palestinians (according to the non-governmental Palestinian organization Addameer 40 percent of Palestinian men have been detained at least once in their life), deliveries of demolition orders, demolitions of Palestinian structures and confiscations.

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November 2016

CURRENT SITUATION

During the month of November the abuses from the Israeli forces have carried on in the occupied Palestinian territories south of Hebron. The Israeli forces have carried out several raids in the Hebron district and in the nearby villages, arresting many Palestinians regardless of their age, including elders and minors. 
Confiscations have kept on going, stop working orders have been delivered and demolitions happened, which according to the United Nations are increasing year by year.
Particularly in the morning of the 15th of November there have been demolitions both in the Palestinian village of Umm Al-Kheir and in Deirat. 
This month hasn’t seen a lack of roadblocks, strategy that make it impossible for the Palestinians to conduct normal, daily tasks. The 14th of November two roads have been closed in the Hebron district preventing access to the city and the nearby Palestinian village of Sair.

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