Hebron: Weekly Update July 1-7, 2000

CPTnet
July 19, 2000
Weekly Update: July 1 - 7,
Saturday, July 1

While Grace Boyer was finishing a tour of
Hebron, the tour group noticed a soldier
dropping stones from a roof-top post. Other
soldiers were stationed on the ground on the
other side of the road. One large stone that
the soldier dropped shattered 10 feet in front
of the group. Boyer noticed two other areas
along the road where rocks had been dropped and
shattered.

Later that day, Boyer and Natasha Krahn were
giving another tour and stopped to talk to the
group in front of Avraham Avinu settlement. A
settler came by and commented to the group,
"Talk about the Arabs who killed us and stole
our land." Krahn asked whether he would like to
say more, but he declined.
Sara Reschly went to spend the night in the
Baqa'a in response to reports that settlers had
been harassing families in the area (see Weekly
Update: June 30). At 10:00 pm settlers came to
a Palestinian family's property, but were
stopped by soldiers at the bottom of the hill
leading to their home.
Sunday, July 2
Reschly went with the Palestinian family to file
a complaint against the settlers and to show the
police video footage of settler harassment
several nights earlier. An Israeli investigator
said, "You are CPT. You say you are for peace,
but you are really on the side of the
Palestinians."
In the afternoon, Palestinian journalist,
Kawther Salaam, reported that some IDF soldiers
near Beit Hadassah settlement in Hebron had
harassed her. She wanted to bring charges
against the IDF and her lawyer wanted pictures
of the soldiers, but she was afraid to return to
get the pictures by herself. She requested that
a CPTer accompany her. Boyer went with Salaam
and took digital pictures of the soldiers and
tape recorded the soldier's comments. Settler
children spit at Boyer and Salaam. Salaam
called the Israeli police and the IDF commander,
who came and investigated the situation, taking
Boyer and Salaam to the police station to write
a report. While at Beit Hadassah, Boyer saw
soldiers surround a car of 3 TIPH women
(Temporary International Presence in Hebron) and
'cat-call' and whistle at them before letting
the car through.
At 4:30 pm, Reschly observed about 10 settler
children on Shuhada street running around
Palestinian cars. A Palestinian woman began
chasing one of the children. A soldier came
over and asked what happened, and then he chased
the child. When a TIPH car pulled up to observe
the scene, 4 children immediately went over to
the car and tried to break off the back
windshield wiper. The soldiers yelled at the
children and tried to make them go home, which
they finally did.
Monday, July 3
Boyer and Krahn noticed that a water tower in
the army base was leaking large amounts of
water, and discussed the issue with soldiers
(See upcoming Release on water in the West Bank)
Tuesday, July 4
While on night patrol, Jamey Bouwmeester and
Reschly were stopped by soldiers and asked what
CPT does. Bouwmeester and Reschly explained
that CPT "gets in the way" if there are
instances of injustice or violence, and spoke
about CPT's work against home demolitions. They
also encouraged the soldiers to read alternative
press regarding the situation in the West Bank.
Thursday, July 6
Journalist, Kawther Salaam, called the CPT team
and told them that there was a bulldozer in the
Baqa'a valley. CPT called a local contact in
the Baqa'a to find out what was happening. We
were told that the bulldozer "tried to get up
the hill, but she couldn't, and fell down". CPT
was told that there was no reason to come out.
Later that afternoon CPT called back and learned
that the bulldozer had demolished some terraces
that were not in use.
Friday, July 7
While on night patrol, Anita Fast, Reschly, and
Boyer saw soldiers stop a Palestinian man who
was walking along Shuhada street. As the man
showed the soldiers his I.D., the CPTers
approached the soldiers and Reschly said,
"Hello, my name is Sara and I am from America.
I am wondering what is going on here?" One
soldier looked at her while the other glanced
briefly at the Palestinian's I.D. and then let
him go on his way.
Soldier: "We are checking his I.D.".
Reschly: "Why didn't you stop one of them"?
(pointing to the Israeli settlers who had just
walked by).
Soldier: "We do stop them sometimes and if they
are not suspicious, we let them pass".
Reschly: "How do you know if they are
suspicious"?
Soldier: "If he speaks Hebrew well, we know
it's okay".
Reschly: "What else do you look for? How do
you know who to stop"?
Soldier: "If he is 20-30 years old we will stop
him".
Reschly: "So if you are walking down the street
in civilian clothing, the soldiers would stop
you"?
Soldier: "No, because I speak Hebrew well".
Reschly: "Have you stopped any of the settlers
tonight"?
Soldier: "No".
The soldiers then asked what CPT was doing in
Hebron and Reschly explained that CPT tries to
reduce violence and injustice.
Later that evening on night patrol, Fast,
Reschly and Boyer were walking past the IDF
military camp and a settler woman came out and
asked them to come into the military camp to
turn off a refrigerator light for her (on the
Sabbath, Orthodox Jews cannot turn lights on or
off). The CPTers followed her into the military
base and turned off the light. This confirms
earlier suspicions that there is now a civilian
family living in the military camp which is on
the land of the old Arab bus station in Hebron.
The interaction with the family was very
friendly and all were laughing at the situation.
On the way out of the base, a group of young
settler men saw the CPTers and became visibly
angry. They yelled at them in Hebrew, one word
of which was "dog".
As the CPTers were returning to the apartment,
they saw two Palestinian men stopped at a
checkpoint near the Jewish settlement, Beit
Hadassah. The soldiers refused to let the
Palestinians continue walking up Shuhada street,
and made them turn around and walk through the
market. Fast, Reschly, and Boyer approached the
soldiers.
Reschly: "We just saw two Palestinian men
walking in this direction, and now they turned
around and are walking back the other way. What
happened?&q