HEBRON: Israeli soldiers guard settlers as they destroy Jaber family vineyard
CPTnet April 7, 2004 HEBRON: Israeli Soldiers guard settlers as they destroy
Jaber family vineyard
By Jerry Levin
On April 6, CPT learned that ten days earlier the Abdel Jawad Jaber family
suffered another ruinous attack on their fields by about forty Israeli
settlers, many of them armed. At about noon on March 28, the settlers,
escorted and guarded by three jeeploads of Israeli soldiers, invaded a Jaber
grape arbor at the corner of the settlers-only entrance road to Harsina
Settlement and Highway 60. Systematically, they began saw down--level with
the ground--twenty three grape vines. Some of the vines were thirty years
old and about three inches across at the cut.
CPTers learned of the destruction while making a collegial visit to their
long time Beqa'a Valley friends. While sitting on the porch of the Jabber
home, overlooking the ruins of the house of one of Abdel Jawad's middle aged
sons, Jowedy (demolished by the Israeli Army sixteen months ago) family
members sadly told CPTers about their latest ordeal.
Abdel Jawad, the family's 71-year-old patriarch, said that for two hours
gun toting security guards and Israeli soldiers, held the family at bay
while other settlers went gleefully about their business of attacking the
family's meager livelihood. Abdel Jawad said that a neighbor tried to
intervene by approaching the settlers deferentially in order to try to get
them to stop. But, he was simply waved off by security guards who pointed
their guns threateningly at him.
Abdel Jawad hobbled forlornly into the decimated field to show CPT the
extent of the damage. He must use a crutch to get around. Two summers ago,
Harsina settlers, on top of a huge wall of large stones that towers
menacingly above the house suddenly appeared and began throwing stones down
on Jaber grandchildren, just out of infancy, who were playing beneath the
wall. (The wall had been built by the settlers on terraced Jabber land
confiscated several years ago.) Snatching them up as best he could, Abdel
Jawad tried to dash with them to safety, but he tripped on the stony ground
and broke his pelvis.
CPT asked another Jaber son, Atta, who maintains fairly close contact with
CPT, why no one had told the team about this latest indignity. "This was
bad," he said, "but you know, we have had even worse times than this. And
what good would it do, if you did know? Who will help us?"
"And by the way," he said, "Six settlers with guns walked around my house
yesterday. Rodeina (his wife) was home alone. They just walked around it.
But it made Rodeina frightened and sick. Today she is still not well."