HEBRON UPDATE: October 9-13, 2000
October 13, 2000 HEBRON UPDATE: October 9-13, 2000 Â
Monday, October 9
At about 10:00pm the soldiers started shooting into the
neighbourhood of Hart iSheik. From their window, Anita Fast and
Natasha Krahn watched round after round of tracer bullets bombard a
house for about an hour.
Tuesday, October 10
While on patrol Fast and Bob Holmes noted that two soldiers were
prepared for clashes, aiming their guns towards Baab iZawiah and that
there were Palestinians gathering near the Duboyya Street border.
CPTers attempted to accompany two schoolchildren across the border
so that the children could go home but the soldiers prevented them.
Shortly thereafter a few young men started throwing rocks. On the
way back to the CPT apartment, Fast approached David Wilder, the
spokesman for the settlers, and said "I want you to know that we are
very concerned by the violence here in Hebron, and sincerely hope
that no one from your community is hurt." Wilder nodded, but did not
Three Palestinian journalists told CPT about settlers vandalizing a
mosque near Kiryat Arba. On their way to investigate further reports
of settler violence in Hebron, Holmes and Andrew Getman stopped to
talk with two soldiers near Beit Hadassah. Six settler youth came up
and started talking to them, saying, "Where are you from? Why don't
you go home? You are Nazis. We are Jews. We killed Jesus." Then
one youth pushed Getman and another kicked Holmes. The soldiers
urged Holmes and Getman to continue on their way and restrained the
Holmes and Getman walked up to the Israeli settlement of Tel
Rumeida and saw two broken windows and two cars that settlers had
vandalized--not the widespread vandalism by settlers they had heard
reported in a news article. Holmes and Getman also noted that some
children in H2 were playing in front of their homes, despite the curfew.
Two soldiers walked by but did not ask the children to go inside.
Barrages of gunfire continued in the evening.
Wednesday, October 11, 2000
At 7:45 am Bob Holmes observed three soldiers watch a blind man
walk down the street without detaining him. The curfew was lifted at 8
am and lasted for five hours. Many more shops were open than on
Sunday morning. The team did not observe much harassment by
soldiers even though people were still trickling home an hour after
the curfew was reinstated. Some young Palestinian men gathered at
Shalala Street and threw rocks towards the H2 border, although there
were no soldiers present.
However there was still some tension. On three separate occasions,
the young Israeli settler who pushed Getman the previous day said,
"You're a Nazi" to CPTers who were passing by. The same settler also
threw water on Holmes and spit at Getman. Friends told the team that
two young Palestinian men were seriously wounded by IDF gunfire
yesterday while walking in their neighborhoods. One of the young
men shot was the brother of a translator for CPT's Campaign for
Secure Dwellings. He was shot in the back and hand with exploding
bullets and was taken to a hospital in Jerusalem.
New team members Dianne Roe and Kathleen Kern arrived from
Jerusalem, which indicated that the Israeli government had eased its
closure on the West Bank.
A contact from the community of Beit Ummar north of Hebron said
that settlers had been harassing families there and vandalizing cars
and buildings. Due to the curfew, the families there have been unable
to harvest their grapes, for which Beit Ummar is famous.
Thursday, October 12, 2000
Andrew Getman, Natasha Krahn, and Bob Holmes went to Jerusalem
for a eucharistic service at Sabeel, the Palestinian Liberation Theology
Anita Fast and Kathleen Kern went on patrol and saw piles of rubble
burning on Shalala Street. On Dubboya street they saw downed
power lines and water running from a bullet hole in a roof top tank.
In the early afternoon, a friend called to tell the team that a mob in
Ramallah had lynched three soldiers whom Palestinan police had
detained there. The Israeli government announced it was going to
bomb Ramallah and the American and Canadian embassies had
encouraged all their citizens to leave the West Bank. The team in
Hebron called its members in Jerusalem, who returned to Hebron as
quickly as possible.
Later a journalist friend called to tell the team that the Israeli military
had forbidden Palestinian journalists to enter H-2--the area in Hebron
under Israeli control.
Throughout the day, the team sifted through reports on the situation
via phone and e-mail, many of which contained contradictory
information. They heard that the Israeli military had bombed locations
in Gaza, Nablus and Al-Bireh, a suburb of Ramallah.
In the evening, the team heard many rounds of gunfire exchanged
between the neighborhood of Hart iSheik and Israeli military outposts.
They heard helicopters without their lights on circling the area.
Friday, October 13
As Getman and Kern started their morning patrol, a settler pulled up in
his car and said, "You people are unreal." He berated the CPTers for
not reporting that the settlements of Beit Hadassah and Avraham
Avinu had been shot at, concluded by saying "Be careful or you'll be
next," and sped away.
Getman and Kern then met a journalist who took them up into the
neighborhood of Hart iSheik and introduced them to families whose
homes had been riddled with bullet holes the night before. One man
had a daughter in the hospital who had been hit by shrapnel.
During the patrol, they had two long conversations with soldiers who
expressed grief and horror at the murders of the soldiers in Ramallah.
They told the team members that military force was the only way to
deal with the recent violence.
In the evening, the team received a call from a journalist, saying that a
twenty-two year old father of three had been shot with an exploding
bullet while observing young boys throwing rocks in the afternoon.
The snipers who shot him were using silencers. He bled to death in a
local hospital, because the military would not allow an ambulance
carrying blood from Ramallah through. The journalist also reported
that a friend of the team who runs a teashop had been shot in the foot
with a rubber bullet while carrying cups of coffee outside to his