Applies to CPTnet releases from Palestine projects

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli immigration denies entry to another Palestine team member


On the night of 5 December 2013, Israeli immigration authorities denied entry to Patrick Thompson at the Allenby Bridge connecting Jordan to Occupied Palestine. Thompson was attempting to return for another stint on the team in Hebron.  He initially told authorities that he was entering as a tourist, to visit Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Tel Aviv, and then points south, before re-entering Jordan. An Israeli official was concerned about his previous stay of four months in Israel.

After detailed questioning over a period of three hours and a search of his computer hard drive, authorities found a logo of CPT and told him they were denying him entry because he had lied to them. Thompson told them that he specifically did not mention his work with CPT or his destination as the West Bank because of the way Israeli authorities had treated many others when they volunteered this information willingly.  Authorities denied entry to Jonathan Brenneman, another CPTer, in September, when he declared his membership in CPT and his plans to travel to Hebron.  Thompson then waited another hour or so before the authorities officially denied him entry. When he boarded a bus to go back across the border into Jordan it was 1:30 a.m., a full six hours after his arrival at Israeli passport control.

Thompson is the fourth CPTer to whom Israel has denied entry this year. In addition to denying entry to Brenneman in September, authorities turned away two reservists in July because of stamps in their passports from their time with the Iraqi Kurdistan team—even though the Kurdish Regional Government has friendly relations with Israel.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli soldiers detain, abuse Palestinian minor; break hand of young Palestinian man

On 22 November 2013, two children came to the CPT office in Hebron’s Old City and informed CPTers that Israeli soldiers had arrested a fourteen-year-old boy from the internet cafĂ© in the Old City and dragged him to the Bab al-Baladiyah, the entrance to the Old City.  Two CPTers went to the location where Israeli soldiers take people they detain behind a gate and talked to the mother who said that they had accused the boy of throwing stones.…

Also on 22 November 2013 Israeli Border Police stopped Ehab Marwan Al- Karaki and Samer Al Natshehat at Bab Al Baladiyah.

Al- Karaki told CPTers,

They stopped my friend Samer and body checked him and checked his fist.  They asked him why he threw stones and he said, “I didn’t.”  Then the border police asked him, “Then why is your fist wet?  You washed your hands to remove the stone dust.”  One of the border police started to shout and curse at him, then asked him what was in his pocket.  Samer replied, “It’s my phone,” and the border police slapped him on the face.  As for me, another border police checked me, asked me to open my legs as much as I could, then he twisted my hand, I started to yell and tell him that is painful; he stopped then asked me to open my legs wider till I fell down on the ground.

Afterwards the border police made me stand up, grabbed me by my head and tried to hit my head across the shop door, I put my hands up so I could protect my face; it was really scary.  Then he twisted my hand again until he broke it, I heard the sound of my bones getting broken.  They started to yell and asked us to leave, and they didn’t check our IDs.  When they left, I couldn’t walk; I felt dizzy…

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Refusing to be uprooted

On Friday 22 November 2013 a Palestinian family who were planting olive trees on their property near the Israeli outpost settlement of Havat Gal near Hebron asked CPT to accompany them

When the team arrived, a security guard from Havat Gal and four Israeli soldiers appeared.  They demanded that the family, CPT, and media personnel leave the area immediately.  Israeli police then arrived and after much discussion the family and accompaniers were allowed to proceed to where the planting was taking place.

 The father of the family, Badwi Abu Ermaleh, was there, and showed team members the place where settlers from Havat Gal had uprooted ten new olive trees the family had planted the day before. He and his sons were replanting them.

Four Israeli settlers were watching from their newly constructed cabin on the Palestinian family’s land. Neither they, nor the soldiers also keeping watch from the hilltop, attempted to approach.

“My father’s father owned this land before more than 100 years,” Bawdi told team members as he showed them the title carefully preserved in plastic covering.

They will not be uprooted from their land.




Epixel* for 24 November



  The days are surely coming,
says the LORD, when I will
raise up for David
a righteous Branch,
and he shall reign as king
and deal wisely,
and shall execute
justice and righteousness
in the land.
  Jer. 23:5

Pray for the children of the South Hebron Hills living in an area the Israeli military has designated “Firing Zone 918.”  On 18 November, Israeli soldiers detained the driver of an SUV that UNICEF and the Japanese government had donated for the transportation of children in remote villages of the region to the school in Al-Fakheit village and confiscated the vehicle.



Related Story:

SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Israeli military detains driver, confiscates vehicle donated for transport of schoolchildren in South Hebron Hills

SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Israeli military detains driver, confiscates vehicle donated for transport of schoolchildren in South Hebron Hills

On 18 November 2013 at 11:00, Mufid Abu Qbeita—the driver for the students who live in the South Hebron Hills area that the Israeli military has designated as “Firing Zone 918”—was driving children back to their homes from Al Fakheit school.  Israeli Security Forces and representatives of the Israeli Civil Administration stopped him near Al-Sfai, one of the villages in the Firing Zone, while he had a child in the car.

Soldiers took his ID and detained him for thirty minutes; afterwards, they told him to follow them to Gush Etzion Police Station.  Two soldiers accompanied Abu Qbeita in the car.  He had to leave the child in Al-Sfai.

Abu Qbeita informed the soldiers that the jeep belonged to the Palestinian Ministry of Education and was donated by Japan, but they still forced him to drive to the settlement of Gush Etzion.  After several hours, they released him, but the jeep remains at the police station.  When Abu Qbeita asked why the soldiers had confiscated the jeep, they answered, “Because you were driving in the firing zone of the South Hebron Hills which is not allowed.”

CPT, EAPPI and Operation Dove take turns accompanying Abu Qbeita and the SUV from the city of Yatta into the Firing Zone during the week, in order to prevent incidents like the above occurring, but until recently, once in the zone, he had not faced problems.  On 27 October, eight Israeli soldiers detained him, verbally abused him, and then beat him on his abdomen, face, and back.  Afterwards, they forced him to drive over spikes used to stop vehicles at army checkpoints to puncture the SUV’s tires.

SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: CPT releases new video, "Masafer Yatta Under Israeli Occupation"

 Christian Peacemaker Teams’ Palestine team has just released a new video about the Masafer Yatta area, featuring the Al-Fakheit School, an “archway to the future.”

Although the twelve-minute production presents the realities that the people living in the region face—their homes under constant threat of home demolition, Israeli military exercises disrupting their lives—the film is surprisingly uplifting, filled with faces of the children and adults who live in the scattered villages around the school, and whose lives the school has greatly enhanced.

Before Al-Fakheit school was built in the area the Israeli military calls “Firing Zone 918,” the children of the region had to live in Yatta during the school year or did not attend school at all.  For many students, school is their primary leisure time of the day.  They also receive services from the Palestinian Authority such as psychological counseling to deal with traumas they face as a result of living within the Firing Zone…

The video is available at


#GIVINGTUESDAY Since the release of this video, the Israeli military has confiscated the vehicle used for transporting the children to Al-Fakheit school.  CPT Palestine, EAPPI and Operation Dove do not have enough volunteers to provide the accompaniment really needed to protect the driver and the vehicle.  CPT Palestine has a 3-year plan that would vastly expand the nonviolent training reach of the team and the incorporation of Palestinians into the Palestine team.  In an atmosphere where very few good ideas are being presented for peace in the region, are you willing to support something creative and a little bit risky?




A couple weeks ago, my teammate Alwyn and I were sidetracked by phone call on our way to the market to buy food. Two international monitoring groups in Hebron had contacted our office, asking us to check out a situation at the container checkpoint that separates the H-1 area (under nominal Palestinian control) from H-2 (under full Israeli military control) in Hebron.  Soldiers had stopped a staffperson from a kindergarten near Qurtuba School who was bringing in a box of snacks for the children, which apparently the soldiers running the checkpoint deemed a security risk.

The staff person had been there an hour by the time we got there and would be there for more than another before the soldiers finally let him go.  In the meantime, Alwyn and I became involved in another small human drama.  A young man with Down's Syndrome came through the checkpoint.  Perhaps because he made the soldiers uncomfortable, something compelled them to make him take his belt off, pull up his shirt, take off his shoes, and pull up his pants legs.  They also went through the newspaper he was carrying page by page to see if it concealed anything.

He continued up the hill afterwards, belt in hand, cursing.  He would try to put the belt through the loops of his pants, then start re-enacting the scene of his humiliation again and again, yelling and shaking his fist.  Alwyn and I joined him and tried to calm him down.  An older man came by to help him with his belt, and through him, we learned the young man’s name, Abed*, and that his father had died recently.


SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Despite court order, Israeli military intimidates villagers in Firing Zone 918

31 October 2013
SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Despite court order, Israeli military intimidates villagers in Firing Zone 918

[Note: The following is an update from CPT Palestine’s partner, the Italian peace group Operation Dove that lives and works in the South Hebron Hills village of At-Tuwani, where CPT also worked from 2004-2011.  Christian Peacemaker Teams, Operation Dove, and EAPPI share responsibility for accompanying a vehicle intended for the transport of school children into an area of the South Hebron Hills the Israeli military has designated as “Firing Zone 918.”  The Operation Dove report has been edited for clarity.]

In spite of the Israeli Defense Minister’s acceptance of the mediation proposal by the Israeli High Court to find a solution with the Palestinians [in the region] about the Israeli military’s use of Firing Zone 918, the pressure of the army on the local inhabitants does not decrease.

According to eyewitnesses, on Sunday, 20 October more than 300 soldiers arrived at the Israeli military base close to the villages of Jinba and Mirkez.  Some of them invaded fields between the two Palestinian villages and camped there.  For all the week, they did military drills in the area and invaded the Palestinian villages.  During the drills, soldiers broke into the village of Jinba, entering into private properties, preventing some Palestinian shepherds from grazing their sheep on Palestinian fields, intimidating and scaring the inhabitants.

On the nights of Thursday 24 and Friday 25, the soldiers trained around the Palestinian village of Halaweh.  On the night of Wednesday 23, the soldiers entered in the houses of the Palestinian village of Al Mirkez, ransacking homes.

Finally, on Sunday, 27 October, eight Israeli soldiers stopped and detained the Palestinian who drives the school transport jeep around Masafer Yatta for the Palestinian Ministry of Education.  Every day he accompanies the elementary schoolchildren on their way from several remote villages to their school in Al Fakheit village.  The soldiers forced the driver to get out of the car; then they questioned him.  Moreover, the soldiers shouted and him and insulted him, and beat him on his abdomen, face and back.  Later, they forced the driver to get in the car and drive on the spikes used at army checkpoints in order to puncture the tires.

Despite the fact that the Ministry of Defence accepted the mediation with the [South Hebron Hills] Palestinians proposed by High Court of Justice, the Israeli government is continuing its policy of threats against the Masafer Yatta inhabitants. 


Operation Dove - Nonviolent Peace Corps
Ass.  ComunitĂ  Papa Giovanni XXIII

Al-Khalil: Boy beaten by soldiers

Yesterday, October 22nd, CPT talked with 15 year old Mohammed (not his real name) in the Alya Hospital in Al Khalil/Hebron. Mohammed had been beaten by the Israeli military yesterday for not having an ID.

Palestinians are not issued ID's until they reach 16. Mohamed had been beaten in the back of his head and body by the soldiers who had also used the butts of their guns. Mohammed subsequently fainted. The military then covered his body and left him where he had fallen. After a crowd had gathered and news had spread, Mohammed's family arrived and got him to the hospital.

Al-Khalil Reflection: Remember your childhood

Remember if you can your childhood.

Remember being a child during the holidays.

Remember the feeling of being free of school for a week.

Remember the feeling of anticipation; the presents, the food, your favourite aunt or uncle.

Remember the decorations, the days of preparations.

Remember the meal, the family together around a single table.

Remember the presents, the sweets, your favourite dish.

Remember the weather, the songs sung, the music played, the family games.