HEBRON UPDATE: August 11-14, 2002
August 30, 2002
HEBRON UPDATE:August 11-14, 2002
Sunday, August 11, 2002
On Greg Rollin's way through the Old City, some children told him that there
were soldiers inside a nearby house. Rollins entered the house to
investigate and met three soldiers leaving. One of the soldiers said that
someone had thrown a brick at them from this house the previous day. They
had gone in then and messed up the place looking for the perpetrator, but
did not find them. They returned on Sunday, but still did
not find the person for whom they were searching. "Don't you think trashing
a Palestinian's home will only encourage him to throw rocks at you?"
Rollins asked the soldier. "No," the soldier replied. "It will make them
stop because they will be afraid of us."
After the soldiers left, Rollins found only two very frightened girls around
the age of twelve in the house.
Monday, August 12, 2002
Curfew imposed at 2:00 pm on H2
(Israeli-controlled area); on Bab iZaweyya (in H1) at 4:45 pm
Jerry Levin and Donna Hicks gave a tour to a US Congressional staff
delegation sponsored by American Muslims for Jerusalem and Jews for Peace
in Palestine and Israel. On August 8, the Israeli authorities denied the
delegation entry into the West Bank from Jordan. When they were finally
able to enter the country, they had one day to meet with international and
Palestinian peace groups and US government officials.
On his way to the taxis, Levin engaged a soldier in conversation at Beit
Romano. The soldier said, "It is very difficult for soldiers in the Old
City. The settlers think we don't like them when we stop them from going
after the Palestinians. In Gaza, it is much easier for us. If the people
come out of their place, we shoot them. Here, it is more difficult."
CPTer Le Anne Clausen returned from escorting an educational group around
Gaza. The group visited a site in Rafah where the Israeli military had
destroyed dozens of homes to create a "buffer zone" and were threatening to
demolish several more for Israeli settlement expansion. As the group of
internationals headed toward the area of destruction, soldiers fired shots
over their head. The group clearly displayed their passports and continued
walking, but the soldiers fired again. When the group turned and headed
back the way they came, the soldiers fired three more shots that came
within a few feet of the group.
Tuesday, August 13, 2002
Curfew imposed at 12:30 pm in H2
At mid-morning, the team received a call for help from the owner of the
house adjacent to Avraham Avinu that settlers had occupied on the night of
Saturday, July 27. The military had removed the settlers and told the
family they could return to their home. The family had hired workers to
rebuild a wall between their house and the settlement that the settlers had
destroyed over the past two years. That morning, settlers began stoning
the workers from inside Avraham Avinu. When CPTers Hicks and Janet
Shoemaker arrived at the house, there were about eight soldiers inside
trying to turn the settlers away. The soldiers ordered the CPTers to
leave, which they did so as not to escalate the situation. The owner told
the CPTers she would stay in contact.
Walking back through the market behind Avraham Avinu, Shoemaker and Hicks
saw two soldiers escorting three settler men. Shoemaker asked a local
shopkeeper who they were. "They are engineers," he said. "They have come
to look at the cracks in the walls and the structure of the buildings."
Clausen and Hicks followed a young man into the market where a group of six
to seven soldiers detained him along with two older Palestinian men. The
soldiers surrounded the young man, forced him to stand spread-eagled against
the wall with their guns pointed at him, and mocked him. When Clausen took
out her camera, the soldiers started yelling, "No pictures!"
and moved the young man to another location. The CPTers followed and asked
why they were holding him spread-eagled. One soldier replied, "So he can't
see who I am." Then he said, "So he won't attack us." Clausen pointed out
that the man had not tried to attack him, that he was frightened and
unarmed. The soldiers moved the man again. Then they began to mock the
CPTers. One began singing an Arabic song while gyrating his hips and
looking suggestively at the CPT women. Others began screaming and running
around the corner with their guns pointed at them, in an attempt to startle
them. Finally, they let the three men go and walked further into the
Clausen then went to visit a family who had called earlier to say that
soldiers had taken their 18-year-old son out of their house into the street
and beaten him with their fists and rifle butts. From the family's
description of the soldiers, the CPTers realized they were the group of
soldiers they had just been following.
Ha'Aretz Daily, an Israeli newspaper, published an editorial sharply
criticizing the violence of the Hebron settlers and the Israel Police's
failure to deal with it.
Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Clausen attended a meeting held in Beit Sahour to evaluate the International
Solidarity Movement's summer campaign and prepare for a fall Olive