AT-TUWANI, SOUTH HEBRON HILLS, September 12, 2011 (WAFA) – The Israeli army set up road blocks on August 26 on a series of roads in the south Hebron hills along bypass road 317 virtually closing main entrances to Palestinian villages located in areas adjacent to this road, Monday said a press release by two international aid organizations.
The Israeli army escorted the bulldozers that worked throughout the day to put mounds of earth in areas adjacent to the entrances of local homes, said Operation Dove and Christian Peacemaker Teams, which have maintained an international presence in At-Tuwani and South Hebron Hills since 2004.
The communities affected are those of El Tair, Mantiqat Shi'b to Butum, Wadi Jehesh and Qawawis.
In Wadi Jehesh, the Israeli human rights organization, Ta'ayush, removed the next day the mound of earth that prevented entrance to the village. Following this event, the Israeli police arrested 12 Israeli Ta'ayush activists and also two internationals that participated in the action.
Two other internationals were held for two hours and deported to the checkpoint of Meitar for the mere fact of having witnessed the dismantling of the block, said the organizations.
The road blocks are usually accumulations of earth, rock or cement materials. The damage caused to the residents is significant and varied: trouble getting home with a motorized vehicle, unable to carry out economic and commercial activities, impeding the supply of water by tanker (these villages are not connected to a water network ), difficulty of access for emergency vehicles.
The Palestinians who find themselves in the hills south of Hebron are usually part of a community that has its economy based on agriculture and sheep. Each flock needs several cubic meters of water per week. These populations also have to confront the violence and aggression from the Israeli settlements that have settled in the immediate vicinity of their homes.
The road blocks tend to isolate Palestinian villages from each other, while allowing the connection between the various Israeli's settlements of Suseya, Mezadot Yehuda, Ma'on and Karmel (connected by the bypass road 317, used by only a small number of Palestinians).
Already in 2005, the army erected a barrier along the road linking Karmel to Daharia, where the same blocks are present. In December 2006 an Israeli court decreed the removal of the blocks within six months. The order was not executed, and in 2007 the army was ordered to pay a fine.Following this the removal was effected. The present closures replicate in part the barrier for which the army was fined and sentenced. In recent weeks, some lawyers have been in contact with army officers in order to request the removal of the new blocks.
Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA