Saturday, September 26 2009 Water Convoy to South Mt. Hebron

Some 100 Israeli activists left Tel Aviv and Jerusalem today to bring water to several isolated villages in the South Hebron Mount. These villages suffer more than anywhere else from Israel’s racist water policy, as they lack connection to water pipes, and suffer from army attacks on what few water wells and deposits they have. Buses where harassed several times on the way, and stopped completely near the Carmel illegal settlement, where soldiers claimed the area was a closed military zone, though no warrant was shown. Activists got off the buses and started marching, passing the bewildered soldiers and policemen and moving on towards their destination. Attempts to stop the spontaneous march failed, and the hostile forces left the area.

Meeting with Palestinian partners, activists mounted water trucks and tractors and traveled the dessert until they reached a physical block on the road, put there by the army to make Palestinians’ lives harder. A mass direct action, backed by a bulldozer hired for the cause, broke the road open and allowed water trucks to pass. At this point four soldiers appeared and tried to arrest the driver for the bulldozer, or at least stop it from moving. And so the activists split, leaving a small group to safe guard the bulldozer and allowing the majority to move on to the final destination.

It took the small group that stayed back two hours to convince the soldiers to leave and to secure the safe return of the bulldozer and its owner to their home. Meanwhile, the main group reached the destined villages and transferred eight trucks full of water to local residents. Four army vehicles showed up too late to stop the action, and though declaring the area a closed military zone (this time with a warrant) – could not really do anything to the activists.

With the road open, the water at its rightful place and with no arrests or wounded – the action was declared a success.