HEBRON UPDATE: January 24-29, 2003
February 5, 2003
HEBRON UPDATE: January 24-29, 2003
Friday, January 24
72nd day of Curfew (lifted for several hours )
Upon returning to the CPT apartment, Dianne Roe and Kathy Kapenga saw two
boys attempting to move poultry from the family shop to their home, in order
to feed them during curfew. The soldier detaining the boys allowed CPTers
to take the poultry to the apartment. After about twenty minutes, the
soldier allowed the boys to rejoin their chickens. Three settler boys began
to throw stones but stopped when the soldier spoke to them.
Saturday, January 25
73rd day of Curfew.
CPTers Roe and Sue Rhodes answered a call from Fariel Abu Haikal, principal
of Qurtuba School. An IDF soldier prevented her going to school, saying,
"It is not safe for you. I don't want the settlers to hurt you." Abu
Haikal responded, "Thank you. Can't you stop them?" The soldier said, "No,
they are crazy." Abu Haikal then took another route, arriving by 8:15.
At 10:00 a.m. CPTers Roe, Art Gish, Lorne Friesen, and Kapenga returned to
Qurtuba School to accompany the children home before settlers returned from
Shabbat prayers. A family living near the Beit Romano settlement told them
they need to refill their cooking gas cylinder but the Israeli army does not
allow them to bring a vehicle to their house, because of the curfew. The
family members are metalworkers but have had to move their business out of
the city, due to complaints by settlers about smoke.
Sunday, January 26
74th day of Curfew
At 7:00 a.m. CPTers Gish and Kapenga watched two IDF soldiers walk toward
Tarik bin Ziad School, immediately changing the quiet atmosphere as students
gathered and whistled at the soldiers. The soldiers threw a smoke grenade,
causing the students to retreat while the soldiers returned up the road.
One soldier said that the boys throw stones at them all night from the
rooftops and removed rolls of barbed wire blocking the road. He said the
schools must teach the students not to throw stones. When Gish pointed out
that settler children throw stones at CPTers and Palestinians, the soldier
responded, "Well, things get pretty heated up here."
At 8:15 a.m. Roe and Friesen arrived at Bab iZaweyya in response to a call
from Fariel Abu Haikal saying that soldiers had prevented students from
going to school. Abu Haikal began the students' lessons on the steps of the
closed shops, later moving classes to another school.
Gish and Tracy Hughes confronted soldiers bulldozing the mounds blocking the
Beit Anoun-Hebron road into higher piles. A soldier responded that they
were preparing for a big military operation, and that in any event, the army
must severely restrict the movement of Palestinians to prevent terrorist
attacks. Gish learned that Bethlehem is to remain under curfew until
Thursday because of Israeli elections on Wednesday.
Monday, January 27
75th day of Curfew
At 11:30, CPTer Gish conducted a tour of European Union representatives
through Hebron's old city and the Beqa'a Valley. A resident of the old city
complained toGreg Rollins and Kapenga that soldiers come nightly to their
neighborhood from midnight to 3:00 a.m. to bang on the shuttered shops with
iron bars, drop rocks on their roofs and into the street, and search homes,
destroying families' possessions in the process.
Tuesday, January 28
76th day of Curfew
At 10:30 a.m. CPTers Rhodes and Kapenga visited a Palestinian family in the
old city. Rhodes explained CPT's work and asked them about theirs.
Meanwhile the Palestinian family told how their sons are afraid to come
home, and that soldiers ruined their food and furnishings and stole
heirlooms during a search. Two female soldiers strip-searched the females.
Settlers stole a cartload of clothing. Neighbors said that CPT sees little
of what happens, because settlers and soldiers behave better when CPT is
around. The father of the family said, "We just want to live; bread and
water is okay. Jews are our neighbors, and the Prophet Muhammad says
neighbors are to look after each other." He says his chief concern is for
Rhodes and Kapenga helped twenty or more neighbor children scramble up the
side of a shed, because the IDF does not permit them to use their front
doors, and settlers had stolen the ladder. A soldier showed Rhodes and
Kapenga where the ladder was and allowed them to return it.
Wednesday, January 29
77th day of Curfew
At 7:00 a.m., A friend of CPT phoned to say soldiers were searching a
neighbors' home. CPTers Gish and Kapenga went to investigate. The soldiers
left before the CPTers arrived. However, the father related the following:
Soldiers woke the family at 6:00 a.m., telling the children to stand outside
in the cold. He said they pushed him and his 16-year-old daughter against
the wall and asked why the fourteen-year-old son had fled. The father said,
"Because he's afraid." Soldiers said they would be back for him. These
same soldiers had come three weeks earlier. They pressure the mother, who
has psychological problems. The father said if the soldiers continue to
come, he is afraid he may not remain calm.
Roe responded to a request from students to accompany them to the Qurtuba
School. A soldier asked her, "Who asked you to accompany them?" "The heads
of the school," Roe replied.
Soldier: "Why do they need accompanying?"
Roe: "Children have been harassed."
Soldier: "I have never seen that."
Roe then told him about settler and soldier attacks on students and CPTers
Soldier: "This is our land. This is the last place for Jews in the world.
Every other place Jews are persecuted."
Roe: "Don't you think Muslims are persecuted now?"
Soldier: "Muslims are trying to take over the world. The Koran even says
Roe: "Sometimes I have heard Muslims and Christians say that about Jews. I
disagree with them just as I disagree with you now."
A farmer in Beit Ummar told Roe the army had cut and bulldozed many of his
plum trees on the land visited by CPT delegations the previous summer. He
will have to pay $5,000 US dollars to have his case heard by the Israeli
high court, with no guarantee of retaining his land even if the court rules
in his favor.
In a meeting with the Hebron Municipality, Roe learned that the Israeli
government is confiscating 286 dunums [a dunum equals approximately one