Thursday, July 30, 2009

Your chance to do something for Tuwani: Demand Tony Blair Keep His Promise to Pressure Israeli Occupying Forces to revoke the demolition order on At-Tuwani's electricity pylons

On 19 March 2009, Tony Blair, special middle east envoy of the Quartet,
visited At-Tuwani. During his visit, Blair assured villagers had given oral permission had been given by the Israeli DCO to begin the work needed to bring electricity to their village. He said:
...without a new and different system applying in Area C [the area in the West Bank under Israeli military and civilian control], then it is very hard for Palestinians to enjoy the standard of living that they should enjoy and be able to develop their land as they should be able to develop in freedom.

Then On Tuesday, 28 July, members of the Israeli DCO
issued a demolition order to a newly constructed electricity pylons in At-Tuwani.

BoldIt's 2009. At-Tuwani should be able to have electricity. Tony Blair promised to ensure they could. It's time to hold him to his word - and hold Israel to its responsibilities as an occupying power.

On 25 May 2009, the DCO entered the village of At-Tuwani and ordered
villagers to halt construction work on new electricity pylons in the village. No written orders were delivered. Saber Hreini, head of the At-Tuwani Village Council, wrote to Blair requesting his help in obtaining written permission for the electricity work to continue:

We hope that in your role as envoy for the Quartet, you can be of assistance to us in contacting the Israeli government with the hopes of procuring written permission for these projects. We fear without written permission our problems will continue.

Tony Blair never responded.

Action to Take

Contact the Quartet:

Stefan Szetesi, Private Sector Development Officer


Olivia Otecosky
Office of the Quartet Representative
Telephone: +972 2 633 3333

Additional Information:

The Quartet is the body consisting of representatives of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia responsible for facilitating peace talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority. Tony Blair is currently the special envoy for the Quartet to the Middle East. Currently At-Tuwani receives only four hours electricity a day, supplied by a diesel generator operated andpaid for by the villagers. The illegal Israeli settlement and outposts of Ma’on, Havat Ma’on, and Avigail, located within 2km of At-Tuwani, are supplied by electricity from the main Israeli power grid.

Israel, as the occupying power*, is responsible for the general welfare of
the occupied Palestinian civilian population. Whilst providing electricity and water to Israeli settlements and outposts in the occupied Palestinian territories they fail to supply these basic services to Palestinian towns and villages. In this most recent move they are now threatening to demolish the villagers attempts to improve their living conditions.

* International Humanitarian law (1907 Hague Regulation and 1949 Fourth Geneva Conventions) obliges the occupying power to ensure the welfare of the occupied population.


cherice said...

I wrote an email to the above-mentioned people. I hope it helps, and I hope lots of people are doing this!

Anonymous said...

I did as well. Here's the text if anyone wants to cut and paste:

To Whom It May Concern:

Hello, I hope that this email finds you well. As a Jewish citizen of the United States of America, I am writing to implore you to work with the Israeli District Coordinating Office to revoke its demolition order for the newly constructed electricity pylons in the village of At-Tuwani, located in Southern Hebron. At present, the people of At-Tuwani enjoy only four hours of electricity per day, which is supplied expensively by a diesel generator. As with indigenous peoples across the globe, the Palestinians have been dispossessed of their land and displaced from their homes. Authorizing them to construct and utilize electrical pylons is hardly a burden on the Israeli government, while it is a matter of basic human rights and well-being for the local population. I appreciate your time and action.

Thank you,

Anonymous said... returned my mail saying it could not be delivered. Not sure if it's me or a general problem.

June Forsyth Kenagy said...

I wrote to Tony Blair on May 27, and this is his response. See my letter below.

Dear June

Many thanks for your email, I am replying on behalf of Quartet Representative Tony Blair.

Firstly, I would like to assure you that Mr Blair shares your concerns for the people of At-Tuwani. As you are probably aware Mr Blair visited the village earlier this year, where he received a very kind reception and was able to discuss and see firsthand the hardships that are affecting the villagers.

Following Mr Blair’s visit we were very disappointed to learn that the Israeli authorities had ordered work to be halted on the much needed electricity pylons in the village. Upon receiving this news Mr Blair sent a letter personally to Defence Minister Ehud Barak to ask that the work be allowed to continue. Sadly we have since received news that there is now a demolition order on the electricity pylons. I assure you that we are following this up with the Israeli government as a matter of urgent priority.

We sincerely appreciate your concern for the people in At-Tuwani and your commitment to this effort; we share your sentiments entirely. We hope that together we will help to achieve a positive and immediate resolution to this situation: rescinding of the demolition order and immediate facilitation for the necessary work to continue.

Kind Regards


From: June Forsyth Kenagy []
Sent: 27 May 2009 04:50
To: Info
Subject: Let Palestinians have the electricity in At-Tuwani that settlers have

Dear Minister Blair,

I'm glad you visited At-Tuwani, but more needs to be done.

Israel has made At-Tuwani's citizens halt the building they had started on electricity pylons in order to get the same services that Israel supplies to their illegal settlers next door. Israel absolutely refuses to allow Palestinians to receive modern services like city water and electricity.

Surely this sort of discrimination and outright injustice must be stopped, immediately!

Can you call the Israeli District Coordinating Office and demand that Israel provide electricity and water services in an equal, democratic manner? The DCO phone number is 00 972 29977097.

Thank you,

June Forsyth Kenagy
5459 Davidson Street SE
Albany, OR 97322

June Forsyth Kenagy said...

I also wrote to the two people you gave emails for...
I hope Tony Blair really IS trying to help as his assistant Rebecca told me he was...