most recent weekly visit to villages in the South Hebron Hills, CPTers
witnessed a large group of Israeli soldiers in the area and heard an artillery
training activity. Every week,
Christian Peacemaker Teams, along with other internationals, provides a presence
in an area, home to twelve villages, that the Israeli
military has designated as Firing Zone 918â€”a closed military zone for training maneuvers.
On Sunday, 15
September, CPTers witnessed soldiers and a military vehicle near the village of
Halaweh and two helicopter flyovers as children studied and played at the
school in Al Fakheit. They
heard several other helicopters flying nearby during the night. On the morning of 16 September, CPTers
heard what seemed to be bomb detonation and machine gun fire. Later in the morning, when they visited
the village of Jinba, residents confirmed that the Israeli military had
conducted infantry training exercises nearby from about 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. that
visit to Jinba village, CPTers learned that the Israeli authorities had stopped
employees of World Vision as they were driving from Jinba to Al Fakheit and
confiscated their car on 11 September.
According to a United Nations employee, soldiers said they would not
return the car for at least sixty days.
The area has
been relatively quiet since May â€“ with no training activities seen or heard,
though helicopter flyovers continued even during this â€śquietâ€ť time and settler violence and a military raid occurred in
July. Here is a video of an Israeli military helicopter harrassing the village of Al Fakheit: