HEBRON UPDATE: April16-29, 2001

CPTnet
May 5, 2001
Hebron Update: April 16 - 29, 2001

Monday, April 16
H-2--the area controlled by the Israeli military, was under curfew. Anne
Montgomery, Bob Holmes, Rick Polhamus, and
Greg Rollins went to Beir Zeit to join Palestinians and internationals in
removing a dirt roadblock, or "mahksoum," but upon arrival found that the
army had already removed it. Organizers changed their plan and started a
nonviolent march. After sending a small delegation to talk to the
soldiers, the group marched through the roadblock. On the other side a few
speeches were made before the group turned around and went back through,
despite the orders by the Israeli military that people were not to pass
through

Dianne Roe went to the hospital to visit members of the Abu Hilaui
family who had been injured by Israeli retaliatory fire after Palestinian
snipers had shot at army positions in Abu Sneineh.

Tuesday, April 17
Curfew was lifted from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. On the way home from a
meeting in Bethlehem, Montgomery, Holmes and Polhamus were caught between
heavy Israeli and Palestinian gunfire (See April 19 release, "CPTers
caught in crossfire on road from Jerusalem to Hebron." They, along with
dozens of others were there nearly four hours before the shooting stopped
long enough for them to continue on to Hebron. When they got to Baab iZawia
they were cut off from getting home by more gunfire, and had to spend the
night at a friend's place in H-1, the area under Palestinian military
control.

The heavy shooting in Hebron started around 10:30 p.m., and continued until
2:00 a.m.

Wednesday, April 18
Montgomery, Holmes, Polhamus, and Rollins joined about 200
Palestinians, Israelis and internationals who were trying to remove two
mahksoums blocking the Palestinian town of Bidya. When the first mahksoum
was almost low enough to drive over, Israeli police moved in and detained
fifteen people, including CPTers Holmes and Rollins. Those who were not
detaine pulled back to the second mahksoum and began to remove it with the
help of a bulldozer, but did not get it dug all the way to the road.

Despite the fact that the action was nonviolent, soldiers began to shoot
tear gas and throw percussion grenades at those retreating. At the police
station in the Israeli settlement of Ariel, the fifteen detained people
refused to sign anything, or leave without their friend Neta Golan, who was
to be arrested. After four
hours the police let everyone go without charges, including Golan.
(See forthcoming release, "Rolling Stones.")

Thursday, April 19
Curfew was lifted from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Settlers attacked
several people who passed by their camp at the bottom of the hillside
neighborhood of Abu Sneineh, including reporters and a member of TIPH
(Temporary International Presence in Hebron.) Settlers established the camp
to protest the Israeli government's decision not to re-occupy Abu Sneineh
after a 10-month old baby was shot at the end of March by Palestinian
gunmen.

Friday, April 20
Curfew was announced at 3:00 a.m. At 3:30 a.m. Anita Fast heard
yelling outside the CPT apartment, and from the roof, watched as
police and soldiers prevented about one hundred Israeli settlers from
entering Abu Sneineh. At 5:00 a.m. the team was awakened by a bulldozer that
was placing cement barriers across the street in front of the CPT apartment,
blocking off the chicken market from Shuhada St.

Later that day the team learned that twenty-four settlers had been arrested
overnight, and noticed that they moved their camp about one hundred meters
up Shuhada St. to a location less vulnerable to Palestinian gunfire.

Saturday, April 21
Curfew was lifted. Fast, Holmes, Roe, and Rollins visited a few
Palestinian families on Tel Rumeida. Because the Palestinian homes
on Tel Rumeida are right next to a settlement, the families in the
area complained of settlers throwing rocks at them or trying to break into
their homes. One particular home the team visited had been broken into a
few weeks earlier while the family was on the Haj (the Muslin pilgrimage to
Mecca), and was vandalized heavily. CPTers saw the remains of their TV,
which was smashed, and boxes of dishes which were to replace ones which had
been broken.
Since there is a soldier's camp in Tel Rumeida, it would have been
impossible for this vandalism to happen without the knowledge of the
soldiers.

 CPTers also documented the beginnings of a new building for the settlers
being built on top of an archeological site on Tel Rumeida. Israeli
archeologists have argued for years that building on the site could damage
important archeological data.

Wednesday, April 25
A friend of the team called from Beit Ummar to inform them that
fifteen new home demolition orders had been received in and around
the village. He was planning to get the people together to take the
demolition orders to court.

At 11:00 a.m. Rollins took a Swedish friend on a tour of Hebron.
During the tour, heavy shooting took place for about five minutes.
Shortly thereafter, curfew was imposed. During the shooting a bottle of acid
was dropped from an Israeli settlement, Avraham Avinu, into the Palestinian
market below. No one was hurt.

Thursday, April 26
H-2 was under curfew. Rick Carter and Lingle took a group from Boston on a
tour of the city. During the tour the group was told by soldiers they could
not enter the old city because it was under curfew, but they ignored the
soldiers and continued anyway. While in the city, they met a man taking his
wife and baby to the doctor. The group surrounded the family so they would
not be seen by soldiers, and walked them out of H-2.

Friday, April 27, 2001
Curfew was lifted. Carter and Fast went out to Al Bweireh valley
where settlers from Harsina have set up a tent and camper on top of a hill,
claiming the hilltop as theirs. This is usually how new
settlements gets started. CPTers were told that on April 26 the
settlers on the hill attacked an elderly Palestinian man and broke
his arm. Although the land is owned by a group of Palestinian
businessmen, the Israeli government does not acknowledge this and
considers it to be disputed land. Settlers tried to claim the hill
several years ago but were removed after the owners took it to court. They
hope that the Israeli courts will stipulate the removal of the settlers
again.

Saturday, April 28, 2001
Lingle, Montgomery, and Rollins went to Beit Ummar to look at a house that