Palestine

Applies to CPTnet releases from Palestine projects

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Settlers and soldiers invade Al-Atrash family home twice in one day.

 




 Armed settler leaving the
Al Atrash family home with
soldiers, March 20, 2014. 
Photo by Raed Abu Rumaila

On 20 March 2014 at about 11:00 in the morning the Al Atrash family was hosting a group from FIDA (the Palestinian Democratic Union), who were visiting the neighborhood in solidarity with the families there, when eighteen Israeli soldiers and Border Police, accompanied by an armed settler kicked the unlocked door to announce their arrival.  The armed cohort then swarmed into the home without permission.  Only women of the family were home at the time, along with several small children.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) URGENT ACTION: Ask Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon to stop creation of new settlement in Hebron




Soldiers enter the Al Rajabi building,
20 March 2014

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon will decide by 11 April 2014 whether Israeli settlers may move into the Al Rajabi building in the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi Hussein.  If settlers take possession of the building, the impact of their presence and subsequent increased military presence will have severe humanitarian impacts for the surrounding Palestinian neighborhood.

Palestinian organizers working with the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee have asked that internationals contact the Israeli Defense Minister and their consulates and elected representatives, asking them to contact the office of the Defense Minister and state their objection to settler expansion into the Al Rajabi building on humanitarian grounds.

On the afternoon of 20 March 2014, about twenty soldiers arrived at the Al Rajabi house and moved luggage and food into the building, while a settler sat parked in a car in front of the building.  A neighbor two buildings away reported that on the previous day, he received a stop work order from soldiers for work he is doing to improve his house, and the owner of a nearby barbershop reported that during the night on the previous week settlers damaged the doors to his shop.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT introduces H-2 schoolchildren to the red hats


CPT has been visiting classrooms at schools within the H-2 area of Hebron in March, and introducing them to the work of CPT.   H-2 is the area of Hebron under full Israeli military control, and many of the children must walk through checkpoints to reach their schools.  They have also, in recent months had to face sound bombs and teargas during clashes at the checkpoints just before and after school

 CPTers let the children know why the people with red hats are at the checkpoints near their schools each morning, what they stand for, that they are there to help and that the children can trust CPTers will do their best to make sure the children will stay safe.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli soldiers invade Palestinian elementary school

 


On 4 March, approximately thirty Israeli soldiers entered the Qitoun neighborhood from Checkpoints 29 & 209, provoking stone throwing from schoolboys.  At one point, half the forces entered a Palestinian schoolyard and began using stun grenades and tear gas on local children and passersby.   Palestinian teachers prevented the soldiers from actually entering the school building.  Soldiers shot canisters in front of the school building and detained three boys under the age of twelve. They later released the boys because they had no pictures of them throwing stones on their cameras.

 CPTers have witnessed increasingly aggressive soldier behavior towards schoolchildren during morning school patrols at military checkpoints in the Old City of Hebron.  Qitoun neighborhood is home to five schools, including two military checkpoints.  On 6 March, CPTers had to carry kindergarteners out of range of the teargas that had incapacitated them.

These military interventions violate the Right to Education (Article 28) from the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  CPT records the number of students, teachers, and detentions near these checkpoints as children attempt to make their way to school safely.  CPT also documents physical threats, book bag searches, and tear gas use on children.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Palestinian property rights under attack; setters attempt multiple land-grabs in Hebron

The Al-Rajabi building.
Photo EAPPI

Settlers have won a victory in their ongoing attempt to grab land for a new settlement in Hebron.  On 11 March 2014 the Israeli Supreme Court agreed to hand over the Al-Rajabi building in the Old City of Hebron to settlers, despite the devastating humanitarian impacts of the decision on Palestinians living in the neighborhood.  The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) has appealed to the international community to speak out against this violation of Palestinian property rights, and to use all means available to prevent the creation of a new settlement in the Old City of Hebron.

Settlers claimed ownership of Al-Rajabi house on 19 September 2007, when a group of them stormed into the building in the middle of the night.  In November 2008, the court found that the settler’s purchase documents were forged and evicted them, placing the building under military control pending a final decision.  In reaction, Hebron settlers set fire to Palestinian homes, farms, olive trees, and vehicles in the area.  Six Palestinians were injured, two with live ammunition.  On 11 March 2014, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the Palestinian owner of the building must, against his will, accept payment from Israeli settlers of the amount specified in the forged sale documents.  

ISRAEL/PALESTINE: New Israeli legislation favoring Christians seeks to divide Palestinian community

The Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek
(Photo: Tree of Life)

On Monday, February 23, 2014, the Israeli Knesset enacted a new law that recognizes Muslim and Christian Arab communities as separate identities, giving them their own representation in an employment commission.  The law passed by a margin of 31 to 6.

The new law passed by the Knesset favoring Christians is, to say the least, a deceitful political stunt by Likud-Beiteinu members aimed at sowing seeds of division among Christians and between Christians and Muslims.

For the last sixty-five years, the government of Israel has not shown favoritism or bias towards the Christian community of the land, so why now?

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): February ends with arrests of children in the Old City

On the evening of 28 February 2014, soldiers arrested eight Palestinians on Shalala Street—six of them appeared to be under sixteen, and two were clearly younger than twelve.  Soldiers took the boys into the military base at Bab el Baladiya at the entrance to the Old City and after approximately an hour, the soldiers took all them away in military jeeps.

The arrests bring the total of child arrests and detentions documented by internationals working in Hebron during the month of February to eighteen. This number by no means reflects the total number of arrests and detentions of Palestinian children by Israeli forces in the city.

Some of the detentions witnessed have been relatively brief, including incidents where soldiers took children from residential streets or the market, walked them some distance, compared them to photographs or interrogated them in the street, then released them. Sometimes soldiers take children into military bases or to military police stations and question them there. Sometimes they arrest them in their homes and sometimes they hold them overnight.

 





SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: The precarious situation of Bir al-'Eid and an invitation to advocacy for villages of Masafer Yatta/Firing Zone 918

Sample Letter of Concern about Firing Zone 918

The following letter was drafted by Madison Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends to Representative Pocan.

Dear Representative Pocan,



An Israeli Civil Administration helicopter hovers above agricultural land adjacent to the
above agricultural land adjacent to the Al Fakheit School in Firing Zone 918, forcing a  
villager to move with his donkey. Helicopters routinely hover over the school and
surrounding agricultural land, disrupting classes for children and grazing for animals.

We are writing to you on behalf of the Madison Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (the Madison Quakers).  We are the local committee that works with the American Friends Service Committee to promote peace with justice.  The belief of the worth of every person is one of the basic principles of the Friends.
 We ask that you submit a request to the State Department for a formal inquiry as to the legality of the forced demolitions in Firing Zone 918.
We believe the Israeli establishment of Firing Zone 918 on a piece of land where 1000
Palestinians currently live is immoral, and we believe it is illegal under international law.  
The forced removal of people from their homes and livelihoods in order to create a live ammunition military training space is in violation of the Friends’ core principle of promoting peace.  
We understand the Palestinians’ removal would be in violation international law.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Hebronites mark twentieth anniversary of Ibrahimi Mosque massacre

During the month of February, Palestinians in Hebron commemorated the twentieth anniversary of two tragic events that continue to haunt lives and curtail freedoms in the city:  the closing of Shuhada Street, the massacre of twenty-nine Palestinians in the Ibrahimi Mosque, and dozens more killed by Israeli soldiers the week after the massacre.

Israeli soldiers, Border Police, and civilian police used
teargas and stun grenades during Open Shuhada Street
march 21 February in Hebron.

I

Early on the morning of 25 February, during the month of Ramadan 1994, U.S.-born Israeli physician Baruch Goldstein walked into the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron armed with a rifle. Hundreds were inside the mosque in prayer at the time.  Goldstein opened fire on the kneeling men and boys at prayer, reloading at least once.  By the time worshipers stopped him,  twenty-nine had been killed and more than 100 injured.

Since the Goldstein Massacre, Israeli Occupation forces in Hebron have systematically restricted Palestinian movement in the city.  Shortly after the massacre, the Israeli Civil Administration banned Palestinian vehicles from Shuhada Street, a once-vibrant residential and commercial street that served as a hub and gathering place for the Old City of Hebron. During the second Intifada in 2000, Israel completely closed off Shuhada Street to Palestinians. Owners of shops and homes on the street could no longer use their doors, and the military closed more than 300 shops and warehouses. Families living in homes that did not have alternative access, such as over a roof or through another building, had to abandon them. Meanwhile settlements in Hebron continue to expand.  Currently settlers are in the process of trying to take an additional five buildings near the Ibrahimi Mosque and Hebron residents fear their goal is to cut off the Mosque completely to Palestinians.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Schoolchildren exposed to teargas seven of the last eight days

Israeli soldiers have shot teargas and sound grenades at children who cross checkpoints 29 and 209 on their way to school in the morning on seven of the last eight school days.

International observers and human rights workers in Hebron have witnessed Israeli soldiers repeatedly firing grenades and sound bombs into the streets near these checkpoints while children are walking to school.  The children attend several schools located both in the Old City and in the area of Hebron designated as H2, on the other side of the checkpoints, and include preschool students as young as four.  Depending on where they live and which school they attend, children must cross these checkpoints in both directions to reach schools both inside the old city and in H2.

Because the Israeli military does not allow buses that transport younger children to preschool and kindergarten classes in H2 to cross the checkpoints, very young children living in the Old City must walk through these checkpoint areas in order to reach their school buses.

                    
          Schoolgirls cross checkpoint 29 as soldiers prepare to fire teargas 25 February 2014