Applies to CPTnet releases from Palestine projects

IRAQ: Displaced villagers send concerns to representatives of Kurdish and U.S. governments.

Fifty children and adults of the Zharawa IDP (Internally Displaced Person) Camp, and Christian Peacemaker team and delegation members clustered around two large cloth banners along the bank of the shallow river not far from the Iraq-Iran border. Written boldly on one side was, “Bombing Hurts. Please Stop!”  With paint, villagers put handprints and small drawings on this banner. Several children proudly held up their hands for us to see.

BEIT UMMAR: New stop-work/demolition orders issued in Beit Ummar.

The Israeli military issued five stop-work orders and two demolition orders on 5 August to Palestinians in Beit Ummar, a village north of Hebron. 

HEBRON DISTRICT: Palestinian Authority raids charities, arrests employees

Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron calls on individuals and organizations to contact the Palestinian Prime Minister's Office following recent Palestinian Authority (PA) arrests and raids on charities in the West Bank.

HEBRON: Delegation meets with Breaking the Silence

Our CPT delegation met Michael, one of the former Israeli soldiers now active in the "Breaking the Silence" organization.  Originally American, he immigrated to Jerusalem in his early years.  For people like him, he said, the State of Israel was "a sort of miracle."  Joining the Israeli military was like joining a good college in America­the key to advancement and an enjoyable social life.  He did well in the military and quickly rose to the rank of Lieutenant General.

"Breaking the Silence" started in 2004 as an exhibition with photographs and stories from disillusioned military personnel who had served in Hebron.  Michael happened to see it in Tel Aviv and now works full time as one of Breaking the Silence's main representatives.  His military background helps in getting an audience, and he spends most of his time talking to young people before their military service.

The organization seeks to educate Israelis who "have no clue," according to Michael.  Most Israelis, he said, seem to be in a sort of self-induced slumber as to the realities of occupation.  They lazily believe that some form of equality and dignity is possible despite the occupation, a formula Michael passionately rejects.

Originally "Breaking the Silence" would take tourists to Hebron, but settlers attacked them and the police eventually kicked out.  Now they take three or four people if they go at all, because such low numbers do not officially constitute a "group."  


During the month of July, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) documented seven violent attacks on Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills by Israeli settlers living in the area.*  Four of these attacks were on Palestinian children traveling on their way to or from summer camp.  Despite violence, verbal threats, and Israeli settlers chasing them off their land, Palestinian shepherds continued to graze their flocks on their land during the month of July.  Also, Palestinian children from the villages of Tuba and Maghaer Al Abeed continued to attend summer camp in Tuba, in spite of violent attacks, and the Israeli military's regular refusal to escort the children safely to camp.  In response to the settler's violence, the village of At-Tuwani organized a nonviolent march to raise awareness of the violence children face on their journey to and from school and of continued settlement expansion in the area [See 4 August 2008 CPTnet release, "AT-TUWANI: March from At-Tuwani to Tuba a success."]

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: Dreaming of paradise

"I had a dream last night," Shaadi told my teammates and me while we sat munching sliced tomatoes and olives one hot afternoon. Shaadi told us that in his dream he had climbed to the top of one of the pine trees at the edge of Havat Ma'on, an Israeli settlement outpost. Below him, Shaadi could see Israeli settlers stealing the fodder that he uses to feed his sheep.

HEBRON: Violence Increases in Wadi Nasara

Settler attacks in Wadi Nasara, a neighborhood bordered by Kiryat Arba and a "settlers only" road, have increased recently, with at least six attacks reported in the first ten days of August.

HEBRON: Update on ISC orphanages and schools

As the people who work and live at Islamic Charitable Society (ICS) orphanages and schools in Hebron nervously await the Israeli High Court decision that will determine whether the Israeli military will forcibly close their institutions, they fear that the Israeli military has already succeeded in a de facto closure.

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: Summer days in the South Hebron Hills

What are summer days like here in the South Hebron Hills? It depends. On a good day, we sit with Palestinian shepherds as they nonviolently resist Israeli settlers, who have used violence to seize the land. The Palestinians graze sheep on lands where Israeli settlers have attacked, stoned, shot at, and threatened Palestinian shepherds. We sit, listen to the shepherds tell us stories of life on the land before the Israeli occupation. We laugh together, and the shepherds teach us how to flick tiny pebbles between our two index fingers.

AT-TUWANI: March from At-Tuwani to Tuba a success

On 2 August, more than one hundred children and their parents from the South Hebron Hills marched from the village of At-Tuwani to the village of Tuba, calling for an end to settler violence and settlement expansion in the area. The march was a part of the annual South Hebron Hills summer camp for children and a response to recent settler attacks on children walking to the summer camp in At-Tuwani.

The children and their parents, accompanied by a few Israelis and internationals, took the most direct path to the village of Tuba. For the past eleven years, school children escorted by the Israeli military have been the only Palestinians able to use this road. Palestinian parents organized the march to call attention to the violence faced by school children, the failure of the Israeli army to protect them and the effects of Israeli settlement expansion.