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Nocturnal Raid of At-Tuba village – May 24, 2023

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

A 15-year-old girl says that, like all the village children, she woke up in fright.

She heard a truck coming to At-Tuba, her village, a Bedouin village in the South Hebron Hills, that is prevented access to electrical power, water pipes or a paved road. The villagers suffer from unceasing harassment by the colonists of the nearby outposts.

The truck carries latrines to the village. As far as the State of Israel is concerned, the At-Tuba villagers’ right to use latrines is a crime.

Within minutes an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) appears, driven – according to villagers – by colonist Yissaschar Man. He owns an unauthorized ranch close to At-Tuba, and the Palestinians know he has good connections with the Israeli army and police force.

Yisaschar photographs the truck, and the village is soon reached by two military vehicles. The truck driver runs off.

In the meantime, the whole village is up. The children are scared. The soldiers threaten the villagers: if the driver does not report here immediately, we begin searching the village houses.

By the time we, activists, reach the village, the army has already left. Sujud comes to us – a girl we have known for quite a while. She says: I photographed them.

How are we acquainted with Sujud? She attends school in a nearby village which she cannot reach without the accompaniment of the army and supervision of activists. At age 7 she was chased by a group of colonists from Havat Maon who threw stones at her. When a stone hit her leg, one of them came and knocked her out with a stone in the head.

Following multiple events of this kind, a “solution” was reached: instead of evicting the unauthorized outpost Havat Maon, or at least prosecuting its inhabitants for harassing children as a hobby – the At-Tuba schoolchildren must wait every day, sometimes for hours, for soldiers to accompany them to school, through the outpost.

Thanks to the military accompaniment Sujud is supposed to feel safe. What did such a soldier tell us only yesterday? “They should thank us for accompanying them. No one accompanies children to school in my neighborhood.” How can she not be frightened when the soldiers who accompany her to and from school in the morning and at noon, invade her home at night, wake her up and threaten her parents?

The video shows the raid taped by Sujud. One soldier’s face is hidden so he cannot be identified, but the soldier pointing his flash at Sujud (usually done in order to blind the camera that films them) is the same soldier who accompanied her from school a few hours earlier that day.

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