More than sixty participants from fifteen countries (including CPT Palestine member Maria Delgado) heeded an urgent call by Kairos Palestine on 4-10 December 2011 as they joined Palestinians in the Kairos for Global Justice encounter in Bethlehem.
On 15 December 2011, CPTâ€™s AL-Khalil/Hebron team received a phone call from the principal of Ibrahimi School around 8:30 in the morning, saying that Israeli soldiers had entered the school grounds. By the time CPTers arrived, the soldiers had left. Members of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) and the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) also arrived around the same time.
Translating for the principal, the HRC representative said that the boys had been at a school assembly celebrating the end of semester before exams when the soldiers arrived, accusing the boys of throwing a handful of plastic chips painted in a metallic color from the schoolyard.
On 12-13 December 2011, three armed officers in plain clothes from an Israeli intelligence organization, accompanied by a squadron of Israeli soldiers, forced workers to stop renovations in approximately thirteen Palestinian shops near the entrance of Hebronâ€™s Old City.
The men in plain clothes started by inspecting the construction work going on in the shops near Bab il Baledeyya. They asked questions of the owners, checking in particular the structures that had belonged to the Jewish community in Hebron prior to 1929.
Jesusâ€™s message is to love your neighbor and love your enemy. Jean Zaru asks in her book, â€śWhat if your neighbor is your enemy?â€ť Love doesnâ€™t cancel love; we have to love our neighbors twice as much in this case!
On the night of 28 November, a Palestinian man threw two
Molotov cocktails at the Israeli military checkpoint in Hebronâ€™s Qitoun
neighborhood. In response, the military and border police fired tear gas,
entered houses in the neighborhood, and forced about fifty men to stand outside
in the cold for almost exactly two hours while they checked their IDs. The
military arrested one Palestinian man and detained three more after they
allowed the residents of the neighborhood to return to their homes.
On 24 November 2011, at 9:00 am, the Israeli army, with more
than five Israeli army jeeps and two bulldozers, drove into the small village
of Um Fagarah and demolished two houses and the village mosque. During the
demolition, they arrested a twenty-one-year-old woman and a seventeen-year-old
woman. They left one hour later.
One of the demolished homes belonged to a widow and her family; the other
housed an extended
family of twenty. The soldiers did not have demolition orders or give any
explanation for the demolitions, but called the village women 'whores' and
entered at a time of day when most of the men were away at work.
On Tuesday, 15
November 2011, six Palestinians stood at the bus stop outside the settlements
of Psagot and Migron, and boarded a bus used by settlers to travel to Jerusalem. When CPTâ€™s Hebron team heard about the
action on the internet, they sent three members to accompany the six Freedom
Riders, as the activists referred to themselves.
Although no law explicitly forbids Palestinians from
boarding the Israeli buses in the West Bank, racial and ethnic discrimination
and the fact that Palestinians are not allowed to travel to Jerusalem where the
Central Bus Station is, create a separate system of transportation that is
off-limits to the Palestinians, but open to Israelis.
In 2004, the village of At-Tuwani
and its Israeli partner, Ta'ayush, approached CPT's Hebron team and the Italian
peace group, Operation Dove, asking if they could provide accompaniment for the
children of the village, whom settlers regularly attacked as they walked to and
from school. Although CPT had made
regular visits to the South Hebron Hills villages over the years, the team on
the ground and the organization as a whole deemed it important to respond to
the villagers' request for a permanent presence in At-Tuwani.
Seven years later, CPT-Palestine
is closing its At-Tuwani project, because the growth of the South Hebron Hills
nonviolent organizing work has made the presence of CPT less critical. The shepherds of At-Tuwani and surrounding
villages now are part of a large nonviolent resistance network encompassing
various regions of Palestine. They
belong to the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, and South Hebron Hills
leaders regularly plan nonviolent actions to which they invite Israeli and
international groups. They also
offer nonviolence trainings to men and women in the region.
On 16 October, the Israeli military failed, twice, to escort the school children of Tuba and Maghayir al Abeed past Ma'on settlement and Havat Ma'on outpost. Because Israeli settlers have attacked and harassed the Palestinian schoolchildren multiple times in the past, the Israeli military made a commitment to villagers in the South Hebron Hills that soldiers would accompany the children if international groups such as CPT and Operation Dove agreed to stop accompanying them. CPT and Operation Dove now monitor the escort from hilltops at the start and finish of the escort.
At approximately 10:00 a.m. on 11 October 2011, members of
CPTâ€™s Hebron team received a call telling them that the Israeli military would
not allow teachers to pass through the gate at the side of the checkpoint 56 on
Duboyya Streetâ€”which it had previously agreed to doâ€”but had to pass through the
metal detector. Soldiers provided
no justification for the change in policy.
Some of the children returned from the school seeking information as to why
teachers were not in school and clashes at the checkpoint followed, which
resulted in seven children being taken to the hospital.