Saturday, October 3 2009 Activities in Tuwani & Susya

On Saturday morning we went to work with the residents of Tuwani in south Mount Hebron. The settlers from neighboring Ma’on invaded the valley which lies between them and Tuwani and planted grape vines in the land owned by the Palestinians. After the settlers took over the land de facto, the military Civil Administration declared all the land which they planted as belonging to them and the remaining land as belonging to Tuwani (even though all of the land in the area is owned by Tuwani). However, when the Civil Administration erected a fence between the two areas it was put up, not immediately after the vines but several hundred meters inside the Palestinian land, in such a way as to take over a larger part of their land.

We went with the residents of Tuwani to plant sabra cactus near the new fence on the Palestinian side in order to mark the border and show the Palestinian ownership of the area. The Palestinians are worried that the fence will be inched forward as time goes on, slowly taking over the whole of their land in the area. After working the land for about an hour, and just as we were beginning to place the plants in the ground the police and army arrived. However there was no attempt to stop us from working and after two hours the work was done. All the seedlings in the wheelbarrows were planted, marked with a circle of stones and watered.

From Tuwani we continued to Khirbet Susya, where there was a kite building and flying day for the children of the area and the children of the activists. We were followed by the army but they did not interfere with the activity which took place without any problems. It was nice and surprising to see the children having fun despite military presence which frightened some of them (there of course should be nothing surprising in the success of the activity, as kite flying is in no way illegal and yet it seems that in our reality even this is not to be taken for granted).