Sophia's Peace Work

Thursday, April 07, 2005

More from my friends the Christian Peacemaker Team in Israel/Palestine

The Palestinian shepherds of the South Hebron Hills are having serious problems with Israeli Settlers spreading poison pellets across their grazing lands.

CPT accompanies At-Tuwani shepherds and their families to press conference and vigil regarding land poisoning. By Claire Evans

Hebron--Over 40 villagers from the Palestinian communities of At-Tuwani and
MuFakara in the south Hebron Hills brought concerns about the recent
poisoning of their grazing land to a press conference at the Hebron Governor
's office on Tuesday April 5. While leaders of the villages addressed the
press and government officials, over two dozen women and children of the
communities demonstrated outside the office with signs deploring the
poisoning. Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams, Operation Dove, and other
Israeli, international and local human rights workers accompanied them.

Following the press conference the group carried a five-gallon bucket of the
poison to the Kiryat Arba police station on the outskirts of Hebron. They
called on the Israeli police to take responsibility for disposal of the
toxic substance. However the police refused to accept the bucket, claiming
that the case is outside their jurisdiction.

Shepherds discovered the poison on March 23 in a field that the residents of
the illegal Israeli settlement of Havot Ma'on claim is theirs. The
shepherds have endured many incidents of harassment and violence from
residents of Havat Ma'on in recent years.

The poisoning has serious economic consequences for the residents of
At-Tuwani and Um Fagara. Already 19 of their sheep have died and 76 more
are ill from the poison. Villagers are calling for those who spread the
poison to be brought to justice and for authorities to take responsibility
for cleaning their land, and for testing their sheep, the sheep's milk, and
their children for effects of the poison.


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