six of our activists were injured and seven more arrested while delivering water to a Palestinian family in the village of Al-Tuwani, in the South Hebron Hills. The military stopped our convoy with the water tankard by shooting tear gas and stun grenades at those delivering the water. One of the arrested activists is Tuly Flint. Why? Because the village is only permitted water on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays - and today is Friday.
The Israeli military/government does not allow the village access to running water. So, the villagers are forced to purchase water in expensive tankards... but only limited water on limited days. With such little access to water many families struggle to have water to drink, cook with, clean their homes with, feed their livestock or farms with, or even bathe with.
Without water we cannot survive. The disparity in justice between Israelis and Palestinians is flagrant: every Israeli Settlement - whether built with or without permission from the Israeli government - is immediately connected to the water grid and provided running water. But many Palestinian villages in the same locations (many of which have existed for hundreds of years) are not connected to running water and are systematically denied access to water. These communities are forced to purchase overpriced water in tanks and transport them on unpaved roads. These same families live in substandard sanitary and dangerous conditions. Ultimately, this policy is an integral part of a larger right-wing strategy to impoverish and expel Palestinian communities in order to make way for larger settlement expansion, depriving Palestinians of fundamental human rights and forcing them off their land.
Access to clean running water is a basic human right which most of us take for granted. Combatants for Peace activists couldn’t stand by while the village of a-Tawani, situated in the South Hebron Hills, was left to dry out. We organized for the delivery of a vat of water to a family who is denied access to running water and has to rely on collecting rainwater to drink and bathe with. This policy, in one of the hottest, most arid landscapes on earth, is more than simply unfair, it is a method of attrition.
As a movement, we experience criticism, hate, and occasionally threats, but what we encountered on this Friday in the South Hebron Hills goes beyond what we could or should have to tolerate. Our Israeli and Palestinians activists headed out together, as always, and were confronted by extreme violence from the Israeli army. We were pelted by grenades, arrested and detained without charge, and pushed to the floor and held down by extreme force. One of our activists, Eli, is still in hospital following the unprovoked attack, others are recovering at home. The officer who threw Eli to the floor has been let off with a "censure", demonstrating again the army’s response to violence perpetrated by their own. Below are photos and videos of what we encountered, fair warning - it isn’t easy to see, and we don’t include them to upset you, but to share what happened, and the brutal opposition to justice that we are facing. We will never become desensitized to violence, and we will not let this unlawful aggression pass by unchallenged.
As always, our message is simple - Water Access for All!
In Peace & Solidarity from Israel/Palestine
Yours Combatants for Peace
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