HEBRON UPDATE: May 12-May 20, 1999

CPTnet
May 22, 1999
Hebron Update: May 12-May 20, 1999

Wednesday, May 12:
Abdel Hadi Hantash of the Palestinian Land Defense
Committee reported that on May 11th, settlers and the Israeli army brought
three bulldozers to land east of Hebron near the village of Sheyoukh village
in order to begin construction of a new bypass road. Owners of the land sat
in front of the bulldozers and refused to move. Today when the bulldozers
returned, more than 500 people from the village came to protest.

Jamey Bouwmeester and Bourke Kennedy visited Abdel Jawad Jabber in the
Beqa'a valley. Bulldozers continued to work on the hill above his house,
clearing land in preparation for new settlement housing.

Thursday, May 13:
The Israeli army destroyed four houses in the southern Hebron District.
Sara Reschly, Bouwmeester, and Palestinian human rights activist, Hisham
Sharabati visited each family to show solidarity and express regret (See
CPTNet release "Following the Bulldozer. . .").

Kennedy, Mark Frey, and Dianne Roe participated in a demonstration at the
Orient House, the Palestinian Authority's headquarters in Jerusalem. The
demonstration was organized by three Israeli peace groups and called for
Jerusalem to be a shared capital of Israel and Palestine. In the days
leading up to and following the demonstration, the Israeli government had
attempted to close several offices in the Orient House in an effort to deny
Palestinians a diplomatic presence in Jerusalem.

Friday, May 14:
Reschly, Bouwmeester, and Sharabati spoke with several
families whose land in the Beqa'a valley had been confiscated. The families
are anxious to organize an effort to protest continuing expropriations in
the area.

Saturday, May 15:
Frey spent the day on a press tour of the northernWest Bank. The tour
focused on land confiscation and settlement
expansion. "It's exactly the same story there as in Hebron," remarked Frey
on his return.

Roe and Kennedy visited families in the village of Beit Ummar, north of
Hebron. Several of the families expressed their wish to publicly rebuild
with the aid of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and
CPT.

Reschly visited families in the Al Sendas area, south of Hebron. One of the
families reported that one week earlier a representative of the Israeli army
came to their house to "check up" on them, that is, to make sure that have
not built any additions onto their house.

Monday, May 17:
The team attended an election watch party at the home
of Jeff Halper from ICAHD. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lost his
office to Ehud Barak, but the opinions of the partygoers were divided as to
whether the new government would be more willing to pursue true peace.

Wednesday, May 19:
The team was present in the Beqa'a valley as the
Israeli Army demolished three Palestinian agricultural reservoirs. Soldiers
removed Bouwmeester and Halper when they attempted to prevent the
demolitions by getting in the way of a bulldozer. Halper was handcuffed and
taken to Kiryat Arba police station, but released that evening (See CPTNet
release, "Time for a Little Civil Disobedience").

Thursday, May 20:
Kennedy gave a tour of Hebron to a group of students
from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After the tour the students came to
the CPT apartment for a discussion of CPT's work. From there the students
went out to the Beqa'a valley to view the results of the previous day's
demolitions.