Tuba

Tuba is a Palestinian village in South Hebron Hills. A census held by the Palestinian Authority in 2007 counted 72 residents. Most of the people in the village are from the Awad family whose core is in Yatta. Their ancestors have been living there for five generations, since the end of the 19th century. In 1979 two families from the Abu Jundiyeh hamula (extended family/clan) came to live in Tuba. There are five residential caves in Tuba that had been dug before the Awad family moved there. In addition to these caves the families dug several other residential caves.

Tuba is one of the cave-dwelling villages in the South Hebron Hills that were not recognized by the Israeli authorities after the occupation of the West Bank in 1967. In November 1999, the Israeli army expelled the residents of Tuba as part of the general expulsion of the cave residents of Masafer Yatta, which is an area designated by the Israeli military as “Firing Zone 918”. Several months later, the residents were allowed to return to their villages with an interim court order of the Israeli Supreme Court. Since the beginning of 2000, the residents of Tuba have been living under enormous pressure from the settlers of Maon,  1.5 KM west of their village, and even more by the settlers of Havat Maon, which is near Maon. The pressure that Maon settlers applied caused the closure of the road connecting Tuba and Yatta. Later on the settlers built ten houses on the course of the road. Between 2002-2004 they violently stopped school children from Tuba from going to their school in the nearby village of Twaneh. A joint action was taken by international and Israeli organizations in which the resident of Tuba managed to communicate the problem to the Education Committee of the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset). After the Education Committee’s intervention, the Israeli army started escorting the children on their way from Tuba to their school in Twaneh and back, and still continues to do so until today (2016). The Maon settlers continue to act violently towards the residents of Tuba and try to scare its people. The continuation of escorting the children to school by the army is ensured thanks to the daily follow-up by the volunteers of the Italian organization Operation Dove.