This entry was posted on Saturday, October 30th, 2010 at 00:00 and is filed under Olive Harvests, Susya. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Over the last year the IDF has worked to thwarted the humanitarian activities of Ta’ayush activists in the South Hebron Hills by means of “Closed Military Zone” orders. Tens of times this year the army has expelled activists and Palestinian farmers from the Palestinians’ lands, in violation of the regulations under which these orders are issued. Instead of protecting them from settler harassment and violence, the army expels the farmers from their fields and cisterns. On Saturday 30 October 2010, Hebron Hills Brigade Commander, Corporal Guy Hazot outdid all measures of grotesqueness when he issued five such orders in one morning. Four of these were presented to activists upon arriving in the South Hebron Hills, and a fifth was taken out in order to prevent the harvesting of olives in the grove belonging to the Abu Sabha family, adjacent to the road across from the security fence of Susia settlement. The previous week in the same grove, while the Abu Sabha family harvested their olives, they were attacked with stones by masked settlers from inside the settlement. When the family members fled, the attackers arrived and slashed the tires of their truck. The army arrived and stopped the harvest, the crop was seized, and the family members were humiliatingly expelled from the grove. A stone thrown by one of the masked attackers struck the leg of Ezra Nawi and injured him, causing bleeding. It must be noted that the orders are filled out in the field, in violation of the regulations. Judea Brigade Commander Corporal Guy Hazot ‘signs’ them remotely by telephone. All the orders are photographed and will be presented in court in due time. This Saturday an elderly Palestinian woman, expelled from the olive grove, went to urinate in the area declared closed by the soldiers. They ran after her and brutally berated her, and Ezra called after them to behave nicely; the soldiers, who don’t speak Arabic, called him over to approach the grandmother and explain to her that entrance to the area was forbidden. Ezra approached and translated the soldiers’ order, only to find himself within moments being detained under the false claim that he had entered the grove without authorization and violated the “Closed Military Zone” order. Ezra was detained and subsequently Professor Amiel Vardi, after running into the grove in protest of Ezra’s detention, was detained as well. At the Hebron Police Station the second lieutenant who had brought Ezra in gave an incriminating testimony which could have returned him to prison (see below). While viewing footage of the arrest, the police investigator repeated, some ten times, “Unbelievable… unbelievable”. He invited the young officer to view the video footage of the arrest. The second lieutenant watched in embarrassment, muttering meanwhile that his testimony had been based on the descriptions of others. Ezra Nawi is on three years’ probation for six months’ further jail time after having been convicted under the incriminating testimony of two Border officers who claimed he attacked them while attempting to prevent the destruction of a home in nearby Umm al-Kheer in 2007.