Applies to CPTnet releases from Palestine projects

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.

HEBRON UPDATE: 15 April-14 May 2008

Tuesday 15 April

Arbour responded to a call for his presence at the Al Rahma bakery, run by the Islamic Charitable Society, which supplies bread to children's orphanages. He photographed the results of a raid by soldiers during the night: walk-in ovens and heating ducts wrecked, and all raw materials, equipment, and most of the inventory confiscated.

Knight, Lingle, and Rehm visited Mousa Abu Maria's brother Yusef and their father, Abdul Hamid Abu Maria. Mousa is a non-violent peace activist in Beit Ummar, abducted by the Israeli army on 11 April.

BURLINGTON, ON: The Education of a Justice-"We must obey God rather than human beings" (Acts 5:29)

CPTer David Milne sat in the witness box of a Provincial Court in Burlington, Ontario and told a story that threaded its way from his time in Baghdad with CPT in 2002 to a charge of trespass with nine others during an action organized by CPT partner, Homes Not Bombs, on November 20, 2006 at L-3 Wescam corporation in Burlington. L-3 Wescam is the manufacturer of optical guidance systems for weapons such as the Predator Drone, which has acted as judge, jury and executioner in the so-called “War on Terror.”


14-27 May

Gutierrez and Paul Neufeld-Weaver led a delegation of three people to the Southwestern department of Nariño, where CPT has accompanied the Awa people intermittently for two years. Coca cultivation and drug trafficking pushed into the region by Plan Colombia and fumigations in neighboring departments have increased the impact of violence on the indigenous and Afro-Colombian people of this area. The delegates hope to encourage the U.S., Canadian, and Colombian governments to support programs that encourage voluntary eradication of drug crops and the planting of traditional diversified food crops instead of monoculture cash crops.


16-19 May

Connie Watson, Latin America Bureau correspondent with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), visited the team while she was in Colombia to cover the Canadian Free Trade Agreement. The visit came about because of a comment posted by Pierre Shantz on the CBC website in response to a mining story. The team arranged interviews with community leaders and took Watson to see the 16 May commemoration events.


AT-TUWANI UPDATE: 21 April-21 May 2008


Israelis from nearby settlements threatened Palestinians working in their fields every Saturday (Jewish Sabbath) during this. Settlers increasingly intimidated and challenged Palestinian shepherds' rights to graze and harvest their land. Israeli soldiers and police often came to the areas of conflict before settlers appeared, but did nothing to prevent their violence.

Palestinians' full access to their lands became even more essential during this seasonal transition from the moist winter months into the long dry season. The past season's rainfall in the South Hebron Hills was 13% of the annual average. With commercial fodder prices tripling since last year, growing their own fodder and grazing mostly-barren hillsides becomes the only option for some families, including many whose livelihoods are completely dependent on their flocks.