On Saturday 22nd of September the people of South Hebron Hills marched along with Israeli and international activists to claim their rights to live in the so called Firing zone 918. This area of the South Hebron Hills was proclaimed a closed military area in the 70s and its inhabitants are currently under threat of evacuation.

The solidarity march started in the village of Tuwani around 10 and head towards Mufaqarah, where the demonstrators gathered before reaching the village of Tuba for lunch. According to the state position on the Firing Zone 98 dispute, this village will be spared from eviction along with al-Mufaqarah, Maghayir al-Abeed and as-Sarura, but several structures, including the wind turbine donated by Comet in 2010, are under threat of demolition.

The participants, who included women and children from different communities, carried Palestinian and peace flags along with Vittorio Arrigoni’s pictures. They also proclaimed the area a “Peace Palestinian area” by fixing posters on the concrete slab put by the occupation authorities to signal the entrance to the claimed military training area.

On their way back to Mufaqarah and Tuwani, several demonstrators were attacked by settlers coming from the illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on, situated between Tuwani and Tuba.  Armed with stones and slingshot, the settlers ran towards the Palestinians and started to throw stones from the top of a hill. When the army arrived, two covered face settlers approached the soldiers still brandishing sticks in their hands and asked them to push away the Palestinians and the Israeli activists who kept on documenting. When the Israeli police arrived one of the settlers was arrested while the Israeli activists were chased away by the army.

The solidarity event ended in Tuba with a dabke exhibition and the screening of “Tomorrow’s land”, a movie on Tuwani’s struggle by the Italian filmmakers Andrea Paco Mariani and Nicola Zambelli.

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