HEBRON UPDATE: March 31 - April , 2004
April 8, 2004
HEBRON UPDATE: March 31 - April , 2004
The team learned from news reports that the Israeli Army dismantled a
settlement outpost near Kiryat Arba. According to an army radio report,
hundreds of settlers arrived and clashed with soldiers.
Cathy McLean, JoAnne Lingle, Mary Lawrence and a translator visited the
Women's Cooperative in the village of Idna. The Separation Wall, according
to the latest information, will pass near the village, cutting the village
off from six of their wells. The wall will make it difficult for those
children who live on the other side of the Wall to get to school, since the
plans indicate that there will be only two gates to enter or leave the
village. There are demolition orders on eight houses that lie in the path
of the proposed wall.
The CPTers and two of the residents visited the Municipality. The mayor
explained that seventy percent of the village residents will lose the land
that is their source of livelihood. One of the men asked "Why are the
Israelis building their fence on our land? If they need to build a fence
why do they not build it on their border?"
Cal Carpenter and William Burke attended the Office Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) meeting where the primary agenda was
the impact that the Separation Wall will have upon the delivery of
humanitarian aid. The members of OCHA are finding that they must combine
advocacy with their role as service providers. Access to the areas that
will be cut off by the wall is already restricted, even before the wall has
Janzen and Lorne Friesen traveled to Beit Ummar to observe the provision of
medical treatment by Physicians for Human Rights(PHR). The PHR
representative explained that PHR will facilitate the visas and make
referrals for Palestinian patients to physicians who have agreed to provide
medical treatment for a fee. Residents of Beit Ummar who need extraordinary
medical treatment are hoping that structures will be put in place to inform
potential donors in the United States and Canada about these health care
needs. The PHR and CPTers visited selected homes in Beit Ummar and took
notes on ten different children who are in dire need of health care beyond
local services. The families that the team visited do not have financial
means to cover these health care needs.
Israeli Soldiers were closing the shops across from the CPT apartment.
Lingle and Carpenter asked the soldiers to explain this why. The soldiers
would not give an answer, but some shopkeepers said that they were doing so
to provide greater security for the Sabbath, especially during the time of
Friesen, McLean, Janzen and Lawrence traveled to the Beqa'a to see the
medical clinic in their community that is served by a doctor from Jerusalem.
However, the doctor did not arrive. Families who were depending upon this
clinic for medical treatment were forced to seek alternative plans for
treatment. or simply postpone their treatment by a week.
Carpenter traveled to the village of Qarawat Beni Zaid, near Salfit. While
there, he visited with local leaders and representatives of other peace
groups to discuss how to create cooperatively an ongoing international
presence in the village.
The CPTers attended a memorial service for former CPTer Susan Rhodes in the
Quaker compound in Ramallah. A special section of a garden is dedicated in
her memory. Sue died from cancer in her home in England November, 2003,
after having served the last year of her life in Hebron.
Levin, McLean and Janzen along with a small group of visitors from England
visited a home near the Kiryat Arba settlement. Israeli soldiers entered
the home and confined everyone in the house in one room while the soldiers
searched the house. When the husband of the family arrived, soldiers would
not let him enter for about 20 minutes. The Israeli soldiers also
confiscated a computer chip from Levin's digital camera. After the soldiers
left, a nephew arrived and showed them his scar on his leg inflicted by an
Israeli sniper's bullet. The CPTers and the visitors from England went on
to the Beqa'a Valley, where they saw the stumps of twenty-three grape vines
cut off by Israeli settlers on the land of the Abdel Jawad Jaber family.
Friesen accepted an invitation, along with a Sufi Muslim family from
Jerusalem, to a Passover Seder in Jerusalem. The elderly hostess told
them that inviting people of Muslim and Christian faiths for the Passover
Seder was her contribution to peacemaking.