Applies to CPTnet releases from Palestine projects

SOUTH HEBRON HILLS REFLECTION: Living as an act of resistance-Kiryat Arba settlers steal all belongings of shepherd family

On Friday, 18 July 2008, Marius (another CPT intern) and I were on our way to Tel Arad, a Bedouin village in Israel that is not receiving any water from the Israeli government.  Just after we crossed into Israel, our ride, Arik Ascherman of Rabbis for Human Rights, got a call about an attack in the South Hebron Hills and we went to investigate.

Thirty settlers had arrived in cars at 9:30 that morning on a family's land near As-Samua  After attacking Mahmoud* and his family, the settlers took everything-the tent where the family lived next to their flocks, food, clothes, dishes, blankets.

HEBRON: Settlers decry "Activities of Leftist Organizations"

Recently, settlers in Hebron have increasingly demanded that the Israeli police remove Israeli and international peace and human rights organizations from the H-2 area of the city. Soldiers and settlers have succeeded in preventing two Israeli Breaking the Silence tours (see below) from entering Hebron, and police have informed CPTers they may not be in any of the areas where they might have contact with settlers-areas in which settlers attack and harass their Palestinian neighbors. Below is a section from the brochure that the settlers have been handing out to tour groups, entitled, "Inequality & Discrimination in Hebron. In contrast to the false anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli propaganda, here are the real facts: FACTS."

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: Buckets and Demonstrations

Every evening when the heat breaks and it's time to draw water from the well, the children of At-Tuwani come to our house and ask us for our bucket. Our bucket is small and gray and exactly the same as every other bucket in the village; I think it's purely the thrill of asking us crazy foreigners "mumkin daloo?" ("Can we have the bucket?") that keeps the kids coming. Usually we hand over the bucket and return to whatever we are doing. But last night, my teammate Sarah politely turned down our young neighbors.

HEBRON: Israeli Soldiers terrorize seven families in nighttime home raid

At 1:30 a.m. on 10 July 2008, Israeli soldiers pulled up by a seven-apartment building in the Hawuz district of Hebron where members of the Amro, Abu Khalaf, Husseini and Butran families live. Through a loudspeaker, soldiers called out names of men inside and ordered them to come out. The building's owner, Samir Mohammad Amro, recognized the commander, who told him, "We need to look for weapons and we will turn this house upside down." Soldiers then threw five sound bombs into the building, causing general panic among the seven families-including twenty-six children-and ransacked the apartments. They flipped couches and chairs over and slashed the cushions with knives (but for the most part, not in such a way that the gashes would have revealed hidden weapons.) After pulling framed verses from the Quran off the walls in all of the apartments, soldiers stepped on them, smashing the glass. The soldiers also brought dogs and produced a machine that dug through the sewers.

Video footage showing the aftermath of the invasion and interviews with family members is available at .

NI'LIN, WEST BANK: Soldiers beat and shoot at nonviolent demonstrators; CPTer lightly injured by rubber bullet

On 10 July, CPTers Kathie Uhler (a Franciscan Sister) and John Lynes attended a demonstration at Ni'lin protesting Israel's construction of the Annexation/Security Wall there. The village of Ni'lin, located in the Ramallah district, has for more than a month led intense, nonviolent demonstrations-three-to-four each week-against the Wall, which will confiscate 1/3rd of village's land or 2500 dunams (one dunam=¼ acre).

HEBRON: "It happens to us all the time." Old City teenager detained for no apparent reason.

On 20 June 2008, S.,* a Palestinian teenager, was on the roof of his house, which abuts the Israeli settlement of Avraham Avinu, after having retrieved water from a neighbor's roof. A soldier accused him of stealing money from the Israeli settlement of Avraham Avinu, and told him to come down to the entrance of his house, where a squad blindfolded and handcuffed him. His arrest struck onlookers as particularly abusive. An eyewitness, A.,* enacted the manhandling of S. to CPTer Kathleen Kern as she walked by a barbershop, where men were discussing the incident. Kern invited A. to the team's apartment where he called TIPH (Temporary International Presence in Hebron) to report what had happened.

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.


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.