Hello from At-Tuwani!!
It has been a busy week here in At-Tuwani. The shepherds in a nearby town asked the shepherds in AtTuwani to come with them, and bring their internationals, when they took their sheep to graze in a valley below the Avigayle settlement. They have been unable to graze sheep or cultivate in the valley for several years, so this was a very brave step, and also a very cooperative action between the shepherds of the two villages. It is a very beautiful valley, the bottom of which was once filled with Palestinian olive trees. All but the trees farthest from the settlement have been cut and destroyed by settlers, but the valley is still very beautiful.
The first day back in the valley was easter Sunday, and we were met by angry settlers, who shoved shepherds, kicked sheep and goats, and threatened the Palestinians. Soldiers and police were also there,and by the end of the day one lamb had been born out in the fields, and the Palestinians had successfully grazed their sheep in the contested land. The second day someone form the district commander office came out and concurred that the land was indeed owned by Palestinians, and they did have a rightto graze there, however since Monday the settlers have continued to harass and threaten the shepherds.
The school children from Tuba are still making the walk to school in Tuwani with a military escort, and are being attacked an average of once a week by settlers who wait for the escort to leave once it passes through the outpost, and then run after the children and attack them. Two days ago two children were pushed by settlers (adults) and fell, and had their book bags stolen. They have identified the settlers who hurt them from photos in our computer, and have made the trip to the police in Yaytta today to identify them and press charges.
We were also able to write a letter to the UN today providing documentation for a seven year old girl who was pushed down and injured during an attack six months ago. Her face was cut and she has a bone infection that has made here very sick. The UN will be paying for her to have surgery in the coming weeks.
Thank you so much for your kindness and encouragement. I hope to be able to send some photos next time. The fields are beautiful here right now, full of poppies and chamomile flowers. People say this is the time of year when Palestine wears her bridal gown.
[tags]maybe badges would help, how about a code of conduct, international stop bullying day, palestine[/tags]