HEBRON UPDATE: September 3-16, 2003
September 18, 2003
HEBRON UPDATE: September 3-16, 2003
Wednesday September 3, 2003
Curfew in H2 and Bab iZaweyya
Greg Rollins and Jerry Levin watched as soldiers stopped people from
crossing the main intersection at Bab iZaweyya. A friend invited the CPTers
to his home near Tel Rumeida, but soldiers at the Duboyya checkpoint would
not let them pass through. The soldiers were detaining four Palestinians,
one of whom wanted to pray. The soldiers argued amongst themselves and then
allowed him to pray.
Two other soldiers took another detainee and marched him away from the
checkpoint, around the corner out of sight of the checkpoint. Levin and
Rollins followed. The soldiers made the young man squat. Every time he tried
to get up to stretch his legs soldiers would scream at him, cuff him, and
force him back down. The two CPTers protested and tried to intervene. The
soldiers claimed the detainee had thrown stones earlier and "this is his
TIPH showed up, took pictures and asked questions. Two French people
happened by. The soldiers told them they were not supposed to be there
because of curfew. The French people argued. Rollins then led them into H2
via a different route. The soldiers let the detainee go, but not until one
of the soldiers threw him against the TIPH vehicle and pointed his gun at
him, the barrel less than a foot from his face.
Thursday September 4, 2003
Friday September 5, 2003
Saturday September 6, 2003
Curfew in H2 in the morning
Benno Barg and Chris Brown observed Israeli patrols in Bab iZaweyya rounding
up groups of men at random and then marching them to the Duboyya checkpoint
for ID inspection. None of the roundups lasted for more than fifteen
Sunday September 7, 2003
Brown and Barg, on school patrol, were stopped by Border Police, who wanted
to know if they were carrying any weapons. They then let CPTers enter the
special Ibrahimi Mosque security zone through the Mosque gate, which they
had kept open so kids could pass through to get to school.
A friend of the team informed CPT that on Friday during the night Israeli
soldiers invaded the village of Sousia and searched two homes. Then they
planted a landmine about fifty meters from one of the houses. After that
the soldiers left. A little later the mine exploded. The soldiers came
rushing back and accused the families of planting the mine. Then they set
both houses on fire. The CPT friend said that he was sure that these actions
were part of a new campaign to get rid of Palestinians living in the path of
the wall that Israeli is building. Many fear that the wall will encircle
Hebron as it encircles the city of Qalqilya in the northern West Bank.
Monday September 8, 2003
Levin accompanied a tour group on its way from Bethlehem to Hebron. The tour
leader attempted to drive into Hebron through the "international"
checkpoint, which is only for trucks and vehicles belonging to
Israeli-accredited international humanitarian and observer organizations. An
Israeli soldier turned the van back and informed the group
that there was "curfew in Hebron," information information that turned out
to be false false.
The group drove up to the Halhoul Route 60 checkpoint where soldiers
questioned them briefly. One asked what the group intended to do.
Levin said they were on there way to the glass and pottery factories in
Halhoul. One of the soldiers said, "Be sure you visit the rocket and bomb
factories, so that you can tell the truth about this place."
Tuesday September 9, 2003
No curfew, except in the Wadi Ana' neighborhood of H, when the Israeli Army
conducted an operation there.
Kathy Kamphoefner and Klaus Engell, and Ecumenical Accompanier sponsored by
the World Council of Churches were at Hebron University when Israeli
soldiers shot at students from outside the campus. Some of the bullets
inside. The soldiers closed the University while first year students tried
to take their registration examinations. Israeli army action had caused the
postponement of the exams twice before.
Kamphoefner and Engell then went to the Wadi Ana' neighborhood near Hebron
University where the Israeli Army was in the process of shelling an eight-
story apartment building in which neighbors estimated there were thirty two
apartments. A huge Israeli Army bulldozer was parked nearby.
Neighbors told the CPTers that the shelling had begun at about 3:00 am. At
about 5:00 am two Apache helicopters started firing into the building.
Shells destroyed two cars parked near the building. The bombardments killed
an eleven-year-old boy living next door to the apartment building and
gravely injured a thirteen year-old girl. The Army later killed two members
of Hamas inside the building.
After dinner, hearing renewed shelling, Barg, Brown, Levin, and Janzen went
back to Wadi Ana' to investigate. They found the area blocked off by the
Israeli Army. As they tried to get closer to the scene Israeli soldiers
guarding the big bulldozer shouted something at them in Hebrew and waved
them back. Levin and Brown replied, "We only speak English." The soldiers,
in response, quickly turned away and ignored them from then on. But almost
immediately small arms fire broke out and lasted for about a minute. Then
right after the small arms fire died down, Israeli tanks began shelling the
building for several minutes. When the smoke cleared, the building was
leaning dangerously. Then Israeli Army jeeps moved through the neighborhood
reimposing curfew. By morning the building was flattened, leaving twenty-six
families homeless and all their belongings buried within the ruins.
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
No curfew in H1 or H2
The Old City gate leading to the Ibrahimi Mosque/Cave of Machpela was open
at 7:10 am, but the Israeli Border Police refused to let the CPT school
patrollers through it. So Benno Barg, Chris Brown, Klaus Engell and Jerry
Levin came through another way.
During school patrol, a settler sped around a corner in his car. He headed
directly at the four men, turning away at the last second.
He screamed at them from his car window, "Why are you here?! Go back! You
don't belong here."
"Why not?" Levin asked.
The man jumped out of his car and went up to Levin, standing nose to nose.
"Look what you did to the Indians!" he
yelled. "Go back!"
"I know ab