Palestine

Applies to CPTnet releases from Palestine projects

HEBRON REFLECTION: The Islamic Charitable Society and the Salvation Army

Before I left for a CPT assignment in Hebron, a relative asked what I would be doing there. I told him I would probably be spending a lot of time at Islamic Charitable Society (ICS) orphanages the Israeli military was trying to close down. "Why are they trying to close them down?" he asked. "Because they are run by an Islamic charity," I said. "Oh," he said, nodding, as though the word "Islamic" were a sound reason for depriving several hundred children of a home.

As I looked for analogies that would explain the situation of the ICS, I thought of the Salvation Army.  I remember how much I loved hearing the sound my coins made at Christmas time when I dropped them in the red metal pot, and the smile the old man in the Salvation Army uniform gave me as he rang his bell beside it.  My husband, however, associates the Salvation Army with Oliver North, whom it invited to speak at fundraising events. As someone who cared passionately about the human rights abuses the governments of Central America were committing against their citizens during the 1980s, he was appalled that a Christian organization would provide North a platform, given that North's work with U.S. intelligence agencies supported criminals responsible for the deaths of thousands of Central Americans.

No one suggested shutting down the Salvation Army's ministries because of their connection to a man who lied before Congress about selling weapons to Iran to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. No one in the United States would suggest shutting down charitable institutions for the needy run by conservative Republican Christians simply because a conservative Republican administration initiated the catastrophic violence in Afghanistan and Iraq.

AT-TUWANI: Israeli military further blocks main access road in South Hebron Hills


On 5 July, 2008, at 11:30 a.m., the Israeli military added three barriers to ones it had erected in previous weeks, further blocking vehicular access on the road between South Hebron village of At-Tuwani and Yatta.

AT-TUWANI UPDATE: June 2008

Sunday 8 June

Four settlers attacked four Palestinian shepherds grazing near the village of Susiya. Six masked settlers arrived on a tractor, and four got off the tractor and beat an old woman, her husband, her nephew, and nephew's wife with wooden clubs. The old woman was beaten unconscious and taken to the hospital in Beersheva. The old man and his nephew went to the Hospital Al Ahli in Hebron. Paramedics treated the nephew's wife, who filmed the attacks (later used by the media and Israeli police), at the scene. The police who arrived at the scene told the family that it was "probably Arabs" that beat them up. The family lives on the other side of Suseya settlement in Wadi Ijhaash, isolated from the other Susiya families by a thirty-minute walk. After the video appeared in international media, the Israeli police took into custody two settlers from Suseya settlement.

HEBRON: Families in Wadi Nasara under attack from two sides

The Palestinian families of Wadi Nasara--a valley on the outskirts of Hebron next to which the Kiryat Arba settlement has expanded--have had to put up with increasing amounts of settler harassment over the years. But in March 2007, when Israeli settlers occupied a Palestinian building across the road bordering Wadi Nasara, families in the valley began facing attacks from two sides.

HEBRON UPDATE: 17 May-14 June 2008

Tuesday, 27 May

Janzen and Benvie visited a local friend and found that three settler boys had stolen his donkey. Even though the police called the guard at Harsina settlement, he would not stop the boys. The donkey's owner had just spoken to a local settler, for whom he had worked, who offered to look into getting the donkey back. The donkey was thirteen-years-old and had been trained to walk in the field between the rows without stepping on any plants.

Fallon, Van Hoogstraten, Uhler, and a visitor had tea with the former mayor of Beit Ummar. The Israeli military authorities had just released him from prison after eleven months in administrative detention. The initial charges--Hamas membership and being elected mayor from the Hamas party--were dropped by the judge, after which, the military took up the case and decided the evidence in a "secret file" justified holding him. He told the CPTers that he is willing to go to jail for the rest of his life rather than betray the people who freely elected him mayor. He said he and his family are willing and "very happy" to make this sacrifice.

 

BEIT UMMAR: IDF fatally shoots seventeen-year-old Palestinian youth in Beit Ummar; CPTers assaulted

On Friday, 27 June around 11:00 p.m., an Israeli soldier in Beit Ummar, a village north of Hebron, shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian youth, Mohammad Al-Alameh, member of a family with whom the Christian Peacemaker Teams has had frequent contact over the years.

AT-TUWANI: Israeli military issues demolition orders and again blocks main access road in South Hebron Hills.

On 26 June 2008, the Israeli military issued a demolition order on the partially constructed water cistern in the village of At-Tuwani, built with financial support from a Spanish NGO. If completed, the cistern will provide a vital additional water source in the arid region of the South Hebron Hills.

Also on 26 June, the Israeli military issued a demolition order on a home in At-Tuwani and on four homes in the nearby village of Umm Faggarah.

The following day, 27 June 2008, at 9:00 a.m., the Israeli military returned to the area and blocked the road between At-Tuwani and Yatta.

AT-TUWANI: Israeli settlers inflict injuries requiring hospitalization on shepherds in South Hebron Hills

On 24 June 2008, around 6:30 p.m., two Israeli settlers beat two unarmed Palestinian shepherds from Mantiquat Shi'bal Butum. The settlers came down from the nearby Israeli settlement outpost of Mitzpe Yair to an area where the shepherds, aged fifty-five and twenty, routinely graze their sheep. Armed with stones from the hillside, the settlers injured the ribs of the older shepherd and the eye of the younger. A Palestinian in the area called the Israeli police and ambulance, both of which arrived fifteen minutes after the beating.

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: To a Palestinian Child--Instructions for Living in the South Hebron Hills

Do not get sick (or try to be born) at inappropriate times such as nights, Jewish holidays, U.S. presidential visits-or when the local military commander has planned a checkpoint between your house and the hospital with no particular reason.

IRAQ: Iraqi and U.S. teenagers-can you help facilitate their dialogue?

In its work in Iraq, in both the south and the north, CPT often receives requests from friends in the United States who want to contribute directly to the efforts of Iraqis working for peace, and for ways to connect with Iraqis as individuals. CPT Iraq is happy to tell you of one such opportunity, which requires time, effort and some resources. CPT believes it provides a unique opportunity to engage in direct peacemaking and bridge-building without participants having to leave the United States.