HEBRON UPDATE: 1-7 June 2007
30 June 2007
HEBRON UPDATE: 1-7 June 2007
During this time team members included Jan Benvie, Jill Granberg, Eileen
Hanson, Esther Kern, and Mary Wendeln
Friday 1 June 2007
In the morning, Eileen Hanson accompanied the CPT delegation to an action
organized by Holy Land Trust in Umm Salamouneh. (See 25 June CPTnet
release, "BETHLEHEM DISTRICT: CPT delegation joins nonviolent witness
against land confiscation."
The team's neighbor, Zleekha Muhtaseb asked Jan Benvie to accompany her to
Kiryat Arba settlement, explaining she had a fine to pay on behalf of her
nephew who was in an Israeli prison. The Israeli authorities stipulate that
these fines must be paid at an Israeli bank or post office.
Before they arrived at the settlement gate, Benvie put her CPT hat in her
bag. Muhtaseb explained to the guard why they were there and asked if
Benvie could enter the settlement and pay the money at the post office. The
guard asked for Benvie's passport and made a telephone call. In fifteen
minutes, he returned the passport and told Benvie she could not enter.
Muhtaseb again explained why she needed to pay the money and the guard told
her to call the police. Benvie tried unsuccessfully to call the police.
Benvie and Muhtaseb on the way back were able to flag down an Israeli police
vehicle. The police agreed to take Muhtaseb to the post office, but would
not take Benvie. By the time Muhtaseb arrived, the post office was closed
and she was unable to pay the fine.
Muhtaseb and Benvie walked down to Shuhada Street, near the Gutnick Center
as they returned home. Although Israeli border police usually prevent
Palestinians from walking on that part of Shuhada Street, Muhtaseb was able
to walk up and greet some Israeli friends from B'tselem who were there with
a film crew.
Later, when Benvie and Jill Granberg were on patrol near the Ibrahimi
mosque, they observed about one hundred Palestinian men waiting for Border
Police to return their IDs after prayers. None waited longer than ten
Saturday 2 June 2007
During morning school patrol, four young settler teenagers spat at Benvie on
Shuhada Street. Later, another group of three settler boys and a
Palestinian boy had a slight confrontation. The Palestinian boy touched one
of the settler boys on the arm (Benvie was close and observed that his
gesture was definitely not a push or a pull, but a touch.) Benvie
intervened and told the Palestinian boy to go on his way to school. A
Palestinian man took the boy by the shoulders and sent him on his way to
school. Two settler adults, one with a gun held in shooting position,
prepared to follow the Palestinian boy but the Palestinian man spoke to them
and they continued on their way towards Avraham Avinu settlement.
Three people from CNN came by the apartment to film Hebron from CPT's roof.
On afternoon patrol by the Mosque area, Benvie and Mary Wendeln observed two
Israeli Border Police detaining and verbally abusing three Palestinian men
at the checkpoint beside the Ibrahimi Mosque.
Monday 4 June 2007
During morning school patrol, an Israeli soldier spoke with Benvie about his
desire for peace. Benvie said that both Israelis and Palestinians who want
peace need to meet, talk and work together. The soldier agreed. He
commented negatively on the recent behavior of the Israeli Border Police at
the mosque. During their conversation, several settler vehicles slowed down
and settlers spoke to the soldier, advising him not to speak to Benvie.
During morning school patrol, two Border Police ran shouting towards Eileen
Hanson who was standing a short distance from the Gutnick checkpoint. One
aimed his gun at her at close range. The purpose of this Border Police
exercise was not clear.
Benvie and Muhtaseb attended a meeting of people trying to regenerate the
Old City. They discussed opening a taxi stand beside the Bab ib-Baledeyya
(the entrance into the Old City), organizing a summer camp for children from
the Old City staffed by volunteers from the same area, moving into the Old
City the place for medical examinations for drivers license applicants, and
financially supporting Old City merchants who daily open their shops.
Tuesday 5 June 2007
Several delegates joined Benvie, Hanson, Granberg, Esther Kern, and Mary
Wendeln for school patrol. Hanson and several delegates were standing by
the checkpoint on Shuhada Street greeting passers-by, when a settler spat
toward them. Another settler passed by a few moments later and greeted the
>From 10:30 a.m. until noon, the Israeli group "Peace Now" held a
demonstration in Hebron. Benvie, Granberg, Hanson, Kern and the delegation
attended. About two hundred "Peace Now" Israeli activists gathered in the
parking lot across from the Ibrahimi Boys School. About thirty settlers held
a counter demonstration on the steps near the Gutnick Center. Soldiers,
Border Police, Military Intelligence and snipers on the rooftops were
present in large numbers.
Wednesday 6 June
Several delegates joined Benvie, Granberg and Hanson for the last day of
school patrol. Only a few children were out that morning. Benvie attended
at graduation ceremony at Al Fayha'a girls school with Muhtaseb.
Later in the afternoon, Hanson noted that six men Border Police were
detaining outside the Old City at the mosque checkpoint. Hanson spoke with
a teacher from the Ibrahimi Boys School who was waiting inside the souq. He
told Hanson that the police had detained one of his colleagues at the
Gutnick checkpoint for the last thirty minutes. Hanson returned to the
Gutnick checkpoint and spoke with Temporary International Presence in Hebron
(TIPH) about the detention. A few minutes later, the teacher was released.
Benvie and Hanson helped some of the delegates find their way to Palestinian
homes for overnight visits. They returned to the Old City through the
Gutnick checkpoint where they learned that the mosque gate was closed.
Benvie and Hanson called TIPH and waited there with several Palestinian men.
A few minutes later, Border Police came down from the mosque area with a
Palestinian man on a stretcher. An ambulance from Al-Ahli hospital arrived
and received the man. Shortly after, the mosque checkpoint was re-opened and
Border police allowed everyone to pass into the Old City.
Thursday 7 June 2007
Benvie went to Tel Rumeida in the morning to collect the delegates who had
stayed overnight there. A settler