HEBRON UPDATE: February 18-27, 2003
March 3, 2003
HEBRON UPDATE: February 18-27, 2003
February 18, 2003
Day 96 of curfew
CPTers Rich Meyer, Chris Brown, Kristin Anderson, and Sue Rhodes went with a
visitor and a translator to Jabal Al Sendas and Qilkis, adjacent areas in
the south of the city of Hebron to visit families who are part of CPT's
Campaign for Secure Dwelling (CSD.).
That evening as the CPTers visited with one family, three soldiers knocked
on the door, and said that everyone had to go outside. The soldiers then
entered the house and looked around, checking the IDs of the Palestinians.
One soldier said that this land is all Israel, all his land, but that he
wanted to share it with Palestinians.
Day 97 of curfew
As Meyer and Brown walked on the Yatta Road during morning school patrol,
children told them there were soldiers ahead. As the CPTers approached, one
of the soldiers whose cheek was cut, asked the CPTers if the children had
thrown stones at them.
When they said the children had not thrown stones, the soldier said, "No?
Then walk back and let them throw stones at you. Stones hurt, you know."
International observers in the area told CPT that children had hit that
soldier with a stone, and the soldier was now angry. The soldiers said that
the Ibrahimi boys' school and Fayher Girls' School were closed.
Meyer and Brown then went back toward the children, telling the soldiers
they would attempt to accompany the children back to their homes. The
injured soldier was attaching either rubber-coated steel bullets or tear gas
cartridges onto his barrel, and said, "No, we have a better way." Meyer and
Brown kept walking, and soldiers warned them they were walking into the line
of fire. When they reached the kids, they told them that the soldiers were
angry and had closed the schools. Older boys then told the younger ones to
In the evening,the team had a meeting with Rebecca Johnson, a CPTer who is
working with the World Council of Churches. They discussed the ways CPT
will work with the WCC ecumenical accompaniment program (EAPPI) in the
February 20, Thursday
Day 98 of curfew
Dianne Roe returned from an overnight in the village of Beit Ummar.
University students there are attempting to continue their studies in spite
of the closure of Hebron University. Some students told Roe that they met
in many different places to take their midterm examinations. The students
seem determined to continue their studies.
On school patrol, Anderson and Art Gish witnessed Israeli army jeeps
speeding down streets, scaring children.
Saturday, February 22
Day 100 of curfew
The team took a few moments to reflect on 100 days of curfew. For 100 days
their neighbors had been imprisoned in their own homes. The usual
celebrations for the feast during the previous week were impossible for
them. Children had been able to go to school only when the commander has
allowed it. Team members wondered how much longer their neighbors could
endure this situation.
Sunday, February 23
Day 101 of curfew
During morning school patrol, William Payne and Anderson witnessed four
Israeli soldiers detaining a Palestinian man. When one soldier started to
kick the detained Palestinian, Payne attempted to videotape. The soldier
then threatened to break Payne's camera, and demanded to see his passport.
After looking at Payne's passport, the four soldiers forced the Palestinian
to walk ahead of them through a maze.
Payne and Anderson then met the headmistress of one of the girls' schools.
She told the CPTers that the day before a young Israeli soldier called her a
suicide bomber and prevented her from getting to the school.
Tuesday, February 25-Thursday, February 27
Major snowstorms caused the cancellation of activities and travel. Team
members who had traveled north to participate in an olive tree planting or
non-violence training remained in Jerusalem Tuesday but were able to return
Wednesday. Children in the old city of Hebron, still under curfew, played
in the snow on their rooftops.
Thursday afternoon the Israeli military lifted the curfew for a few hours.
Children came out of their houses and danced in the slush and show. School
was cancelled all three days.