HEBRON UPDATE: 8-16 June 2007

CPTnet
6 July 2007
HEBRON UPDATE: 8-16 June 2007

During this time team members included Tarek Abuata, Jan Benvie, Jill
Granberg, Eileen Hanson, Joel Gulledge, and Esther Kern.

Friday 8 June 2007

Abuata, Jan Benvie and Eileen Hanson went on noon mosque patrol. The Border
Police did not try to prevent them from standing near the mosque checkpoint.
At one point, when Abuata was speaking with a small group of young
Palestinian men, a Border Policeman approached and told the men to leave and
the CPTers to move fifty yards down the road. They moved a few steps to a
place where they could still observe the checkpoint. The Israeli Border
Police detained about thirty Palestinian men for twenty minutes after prayer
ended, before returning their IDs.

Hanson met with a documentary film crew and accompanied them on a tour of
Hebron with the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee.

Saturday 9 June 2007

Abuata, Benvie, and Hanson went out on morning patrol on Shuhada Street.
They greeted a passing settler. The settler called them "Nazis" and refused
to speak in English. After Abuata spoke with him in Hebrew, the settler
told the group that Arabs have only been in Hebron for sixty years while the
Jews have lived here for three thousand years. He also said that CPT has no
business being in Hebron; the fight is between Arabs and Jews.

In the afternoon, Abdel Hadi Hantash of the Land Defense Committee stopped
by and informed the team that the Israeli military had issued an order to
build a military tower in Farsh al Hawa on a Palestinian family's land.
They have seven days to appeal the decision.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

At 6:00 p.m., Benvie and Zleekha Muhtaseb accompanied the Old City football
(soccer) team while they practiced.

Monday 11 June 2007

Abuata, Benvie and Hanson visited the U.N. Office for Coordination of
Humanitarian Aid. They received some updated maps of closures and
checkpoints in the West Bank.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Around 11:00 AM, Abuata, Benvie and Hanson visited friends in Beit Ummar and
met their new baby. While waiting for transport about 3:25 p.m., the three
observed the Israeli Army re-installing a roadblock in the village. (See 16
June 2007 CPTnet release, "BEIT UMMAR: Israeli military destroys water pipe
and blockades road.")

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

In the afternoon, Abuata, Hanson and Muhtaseb visited with families in Wadi
al-Ghroos. People there reported that soldiers at the checkpoint going from
Hebron to Wadi al-Ghroos harass them, but inside the hamlet, things are
relatively calm.

The group crossed the fence going from Wadi al-Ghroos to the Beqa'a Valley.
After looking around for a few minutes, the group headed back home through
Wadi al-Ghroos. An Israeli military jeep immediately drove up, stopped and
soldiers told the group to stop. One soldier insisted that the group was
not allowed to pass on the path. When the three protested that they had
just come that way minutes before, the soldier refused to believe them. He
insisted that the group must return toward the Beqa'a Valley and walk around
Wadi al-Ghroos. This route would mean at least an hour's walk back to
Hebron, as opposed to about twenty minutes through Wadi al-Ghroos.

Meanwhile, Muhtaseb told the soldier that her family had lived in Hebron for
forty-five years and they would love to live in peace with the Jews. After
listening for a while, the soldier referred to CPT, saying, "I know these
foreign groups, and they are all one-sided." He added that he does not
trust Arabs and that, had the situation been reversed, the Arabs would have
killed the Jews and driven them to the sea. The soldier related a story
about giving candy to a Palestinian boy in Hebron after the boy had asked
him for something to eat. When the boy walked away, he called the soldier
nasty names. This incident seemed to have influenced his outlook on all
other Palestinians. In addition, he believed that the land belongs to
Israel, whether Palestinians had lived there or not. However, he continued
to engage in conversation for another half hour. He then advised the group
they were free to leave via the shorter route.

Benvie and Esther Kern attended the Old City football team practice. Two
members of Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine Israel (EAPPI) also
arrived at the school to help with the practice. However, the practice was
cancelled about half an hour later due to the misbehavior of the boys.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Abuata, Hanson, and Kern met with a friend who works with a local
organization for non-violent resistance, and discussed local activities of
the group. In the afternoon, CPTers in the apartment heard gunfire around
Bab iZaweyya. While Abuata, Benvie, and Hanson went out to investigate,
Kern remained stationed on the CPT apartment roof and observed the soldier
across from the CPT building taking up firing positions and shooting. At
Bab iZaweyya, a Palestinian man reported that some Palestinian police forces
were shooting in the air to disperse the street shoppers from blocking the
main roads in the market. However, others reported that some civilian
masked men with guns had been in the market. Later, Abuata, Benvie and
Hanson observed reinforcements at some checkpoints around town (e.g.. about
ten soldiers at the Dubboya checkpoint, which two or three soldiers usually
staff.)

Friday 15 June 2007

Granberg and Kern joined Bnei Avraham, "Children of Abraham," sponsored by
Breaking the Silence for their tour along Shuhada Street and a visit to
Palestinian families.

Saturday 16th June 2007

Beth Raymer, from International Women's Peace Service (IWPS), joined Benvie
and Kern for an uneventful Shabbat patrol along Shuhada Street. However,
upon returning through the checkpoint to the market, they noted that the
soldier inside the small enclosure with the peepholes was peacefully asleep.

Hanson returned from her day off, and as she came through Bab il-Baledeyya,
she heard gunshots. A Palestinian friend said the municipal police were
probably clearing traffic, as before. The team heard gunshots periodically
through out the remainder of the day.

In the afternoon, Granberg and Kern went to a local coffee shop to wait for
the arrival of the usual Shabbat afternoon tour group of settlers. Unlike
the visit three weeks ago, when one of the soldiers accompanying the tour
stood outside the caf