Archive

February 9th, 2014

PALESTINE: August 2013-January 2014: A turbulent semester for H-2 schools in Hebron

The most routine part of CPT Palestineā€™s work in Hebron is the monitoring of checkpoints through which students and teachers must walk to get to schools.  For years, they have been stationed at the Qitoun checkpoint/Checkpoint 209*, which stands between boys walking from the H-1 area to il-Ibrahimi school and girls walking to al-Faiha school as well as their teachers.  This semester, after daily clashes began erupting at four other H-2 schools near the Salameh checkpoint/Checkpoint 29, CPTers (when they had enough people to do so) began monitoring Checkpoint 29 in the early morning and when school let out.

February 6th

SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Umm al-Kher facing settler attacks, settlement expansion and a lawsuit from Karmel

CPTers went out to Umm al-Kher on 3 February with a representative of the United Nations because of some recent attacks by Karmel settlers on the villagers.  Since men of the village had received threats of arrest if they got into altercations again with the settlers, women had been taking the sheep and goats to their grazing land, but settlers had attacked them as well.

February 1st

PALESTINE: Christian Peacemaker Teams to challenge denial of entry in Israeli High Court

Those who have been following CPTnet for the last few months have read stories about Israeli border authorities denying CPTers entry into Palestine.  Over the summer, they turned back two reservists from the airport in the same week.  Since then, two more CPTers, Jonathan Brenneman and Patrick Thompson, have been denied entry crossing the border from Jordan into the West Bank.  Brenneman attempted three times within the space of three weeks and was told the Israeli authorities would not allow him to enter the West Bank because of his involvement with Christian Peacemaker Teams.

January 31st

PALESTINE: Thirteen-year-old boy arrested, questioned without parents present

Around noon today 30 January 2014, members of the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron received a call from members of the International Solidarity Movement that soldiers had arrested a boy on New Shalala Street.  Members of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) were just leaving the CPT apartment at the time and followed up, but by the time they arrived, soldiers had already taken the boy behind the gate at Beit Romano Settlement.

January 30th

PALESTINE: Israeli settlers, accompanied by Border Police, break into house near il-Ibrahimi Mosque

On 23 January 2014, two Israeli settlers, accompanied by three Israeli Border Police broke into a room of the derelict al-Sharif house near the il-Ibrahimi mosque.  They used electric tools as well as picks and the Border Police appeared not only to be protecting them, but also offering advice about how to enter the derelict building as well as cross over the roof of the structure to get to the Gutnick Center.

PALESTINE: Israeli settlers, accompanied by Border Police, break into house near il-Ibrahimi Mosque

On 23 January 2014, two Israeli settlers, accompanied by three Israeli Border Police broke into a room of the derelict al-Sharif house near the il-Ibrahimi mosque.  They used electric tools as well as picks and the Border Police appeared not only to be protecting them, but also offering advice about how to enter the derelict building as well cross over the roof of the structure to get to the Gutnick Center.

January 22nd

PALESTINE REFLECTION: Why they should stay

 

staff and students of Khirbet al-Majaz school

The complete teaching staff and student body of
Khirbet al-Majaz school

In 1999, the Israeli military administration forcibly expelled 900 people and destroyed their homes within an area it calls Firing Zone 918.  Only after residents petitioned the Israeli High Court did it grant a temporary injunction in 2000, allowing them to return.

Life for Palestinian communities in the area has worsened because of Israeli settlement expansions.  The Israel military administration continues to demolish new houses and buildings or deliver stop work and demolition orders to those in the process of construction.  Israeli settler violence has already caused the abandonment of two villages, Al-Kharoubeh and Khirbet Sarura.  Another two communitiesā€”Tuba and Jinbaā€”continue to suffer Israeli settler attacks, which the Israeli military almost never prevents.  And in 2012, the Israeli military re-started their military manoeuvres in the area...

January 20th

COLOMBIA: Displaced leader returns to community

On Friday January 10th, Salvador AlcĆ”ntara, pastor and leader for the community of El Garzal and Nueva Esperanza, and his family returned to their home.  Paramilitary threats forced pastor Salvador and his family to leave El Garzal in June of 2013.

After 7 difficult months away from family and church community, Salvador glowed with joy as he and his family unloaded boxes and swept away cobwebs.  ā€œI am thrilled to be homeā€ he said over dinner with his children and grandchildren,  ā€œnow I really feel freeā€

January 17th

PALESTINE REFLECTION: On stone throwing and strategies

 

Soldiers preparing to fire tear gas on boys throwing stones about 100 meters away 

Soldiers preparing to fire tear gas on boys
throwing stones about 100 meters away

 

Years ago in our Hebron apartment, we had a foam cushion insert on which someone had drawn a smiling face.  Dubbed ā€œHappy Foam Square,ā€ we would throw it at a wall when our work got frustrating, and doing so was surprisingly cathartic.

So in a small way, I understand why throwing stones feels good.  I also understand, when I see the posters of small boys throwing stones at tanks, that their actions are brave.  I understand why the narrative of an occupied people resisting one of the most technologically advanced militaries in the world with rocks and Molotov cocktails is a source of pride in some circles.

But monitoring clashes in Hebron has always been one of my least favorite things to do, because we have almost no impact on the situation,  so little strategy is involved on the part of the Palestinian boys throwing things, and because the consequences for them can be dire.

January 13th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Orchard leveled at Tel Rumeida for settlement expansion

On 5 January 2014, CPTers learned that a bulldozer had begun to level a large tract of almond orchard the previous evening for the expansion of the Tel Rumeida settlement complex.  Two CPTers visited with Hani Abu Haikel, long-time CPT partner, on 7 January to learn more details

According to Abu Haikel, his family has held a 99-year lease, of which twenty-five years are left, on the orchard that was demolished to create the outpost.  The Abu Haikels had originally leased the land from the Bajaio family, Palestinian Jews whose family the Abu Haikels sheltered during the Hebron Massacre in 1929.  Then they leased the land from the Jordanian government, which occupied the area after 1949, and the Israeli government after 1967.  The Israeli government has blocked the lease Abu Haikelā€™s family holds on this area in order to allow the settlers to continue construction on this new, outpost.  Police arrested Abu Haikel and his cousin on 5 January for being in a ā€˜closed military zoneā€™ when they asked by what right the settlers were destroying their mature almond trees.  The police then banned the two men from going within 250 meters of the site.