This is a press release issued by the Christian Peacemaker Teams stationed in the southern West Bank city of Hebron and reporting on violations carried by Israeli soldiers and settlers against the Palestinian residents in the area.

On 26 June, 2008, the Israeli military issued a demolition order on the partly constructed water cistern in the village of At-Tuwani. The cistern is being built with financial support from a Spanish NGO.  If completed the cistern will provide a vital additional water source in the arid region of the South Hebron Hills.

Also on 26 June, the Israeli military issued a demolition order on a home in At-Tuwani and on four homes in the nearby village of Umm Faggarah.

On the following day, 27 June, 2008, at 9 am, the Israeli military returned to the area and blocked the road between At-Tuwani and Yatta village. 

A bulldozer massed a four-foot-high mound spanning the width of the road using boulders and earth. The roadblock  not only prevents vehicular access, but also makes movement by foot and donkey extremely difficult. 

The same bulldozer also closed several tracks used by tractors and trucks to access nearby small dwellings.

Besides being the main economic hub for the region Yatta  is also the principal provider of critical services such as hospitals, secondary schools, and public administration offices.

Several communities in the South Hebron Hills are again cut off from basic supplies such as water and animal feed, as this road is the main artery for the supply of water to the South Hebron Hills, which is currently experiencing a severe drought.  According to Palestinian residents of the area, roadblocks have doubled the commercial price of water. 

A UN worker reported that roadblocks on this road will increase by 30 percent the cost of transporting essential water aid to the area.

The new roadblock is the latest in a series of roadblocks erected by the Israeli army. The most recent, on the same site of today's roadblock, was removed by the army on  12 June. Previous roadblocks were removed by the local population through nonviolent direct actions.

See for images.