August 26, 2001
Hebron Update: July 30-August 11, 2001
Sunday July 29
Curfew was re-imposed following clashes in Hebron, which were connected to
the announcement by right-wing Israelis that they intended to lay the
cornerstone of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Tuesday, July 31 Day 3 of curfew
The Israeli military assassinated several Hamas activists in Nablus. The
helicopter attack on a civilian apartment building also killed two children
and two journalists. Demonstrations erupted all over the West Bank in
Rick Polhamus, LeAnne Clausen and Kathleen Kern stayed, along with the 16
member CPT delegation, in Palestinian homes in Beit Jala under fire from
tanks and machine guns in the Israeli settlement of Gilo. Since shooting
had already begun by the time the group gathered at the Lutheran Boy's Home
observing the demonstration in Bethlehem against the Nablus killings), the
delegates had to scurry to their host families during brief lulls in the
firing. In the end, one of the families invited the three CPTers and five
delegates to stay at his house to save further transportation to separate
As delegates Sis and Jerry Levine told the story of Jerry's kidnapping and
escape when he was CNN Bureau Chief in Beirut,a bullet came through a
door and hit a wall. The resulting debris hit a Palestinian visitor in the
face, causing minor injuries. Later that night, a bullet also hit a
propane tank attached to an outside wall.
See August 19 release, BETHLEHEM DISTRICT: CPT Delegation under fire in
Wednesday, August 1, 2001 Day 4 of Curfew
The CPT action delegation helped harvest grapes and olives on the land of a
Palestinian Lutheran family slated for confiscation in the Bethlehem
district. A daughter of the family said that when the family had shown the
judge deeds to the land dating back to the Ottoman Empire, the judge had
lifted up a Bible and told the family that it was a deed proving the land
belonged to Jews.
Thursday, August 2 Day 5 of curfew
Workers began widening Road 60 in front of Abdel Jawad Jaber's house in the
Baqa'a Valley, destroying a portion of his tomato field.
Curfew was lifted between 10am and 12pm.
Friday, August 3 Day 6 of curfew
The CPT delegation split up and spent the night in various locations where
Palestinians suffer from frequent settler attacks. The group staying in
the Baqa'a witnessed a man in a settler security vehicle puncturing the
tires of Palestinian cars parked on an agricultural road that runs parallel
to Road 60. See forthcoming release, "CPT delegation witnesses settler
attack outside of Hebron." At another location near the entrance of the
A friend of the team who is a nurse told them of the critical situation his
hospital is facing because the closure has prevented both workers and
patients from getting there. He also told them that the closure, shooting
in the commercial district of Hebron and the two-day strike declared by the
PA because of the assassinations in Nablus had caused a severe cash flow
problem in the city.
Heavy machine gun and tank fire began in Hebron around 11:45 pm.
Saturday, August 4 Day 7 of curfew
Clausen and delegates Kathryn Kingsbury, Gale Toensing and Tracy Hughes
received a call from the Settler Watch hotline saying that settlers had
tried to invade the Bakri house on Tel Rumeida. They investigated and
found all doors forced open on the lower level, all the furniture piled in
one room and all the windows smashed. The woman living alone upstairs
reported that she was unharmed, but that the electricity had been damaged.
In the afternoon, Kern received a call from 'Adel Samu', a friend of the
team, who said he had been beaten up by soldiers while trying to bring
bread to his family under curfew. During the
call, about ten settler boys 12 and under began throwing rocks through the
open windows of the CPT apartment. Polhamus went up to the roof and yelled
at the soldier stationed on the opposite roof to do something about the
rock throwing and the boys scattered.
Dianne Roe took delegates Bert Newton and Sis and Jerry Levin over to the
Samu' house to see his wounds. He told them that his family, along with
others living across from the Israeli settlement of Beit Hadassah, had been
under curfew for seven days and had run out of food. The Palestinian Red
Cross workers had been unable to bring the families supplies. Neighbors
saved the food he dropped when he escaped from the soldiers who had
Sunday, August 5 Day 8 Curfew lifted 4-7 pm.
Shooting from Saturday night continued into the early hours of Sunday
On their way to visit a Campaign for Secure Dwellings family, Roe and
delegates Sis and Jerry Levin, Kathryn Kingsbury, Dorothy Jean Weaver and
Bert Newton were beckoned over by families in Baab iZaawiye to see damage
from the shooting.
One family had had their windows shattered three times since the Intifada
broke out last fall. Seven days ago they had replaced their bullet-ridden
refrigerator with a new one, which had been hit again. The "safe room"
where they sleep when there is shooting had been hit from another
direction. The mother of the household narrowly missed getting hit as she
stood by the door.
After the group finally made it to the CSD families living near Qilqis,
they witnessed five army jeeps and two tanks installing a military base at
the top of Al Sendas mountain on land belonging to a CSD family.
Kingsbury and Weaver went with a translator to visit Nabeel Abu Turki, the
CSD family matched with Kingsbury's church in Madison, WI. They spoke to
Ibrahim Abu Turki who had been shot by the Israel military last fall while
bringing bread home to his family. He is now in a wheel chair, unable to
move his left side. His son had to drop out of school to support the family.
Monday, August 6 Day 9 of curfew
The team and delegation traveled to Yatta, along with two busloads of
Israeli activists, to visit families whose cave homes had been destroyed by
the Israeli military in July. Tents supplied by the Red Cross had also
been bulldozed several weeks later, and Israeli supporters of the families
had been told they would be arrested if they provided aid. See forthcoming
release, "CPT and Israeli activists visit shepherds in Yatta area."
Delegates Sis and Jerry Levin and CPTer Kathleen Kern, who were
accompanying translator Zleekha Muhtasi