HEBRON UPDATE: 17-30 June 2007
31 July 2007
HEBRON UPDATE: 17-30 June 2007
Members of the team during this time were Tarek Abuata, Jan Benvie, Jill
Granberg, Eileen Hanson, Esther Kern, Lorin Peters, and Mary Yoder.
Sunday 17 June 2007
A student from Northern Ireland studying for his PhD in Religion and
Conflict began a several-day visit with the team.
The Old City Police came to the apartment in the morning to report that they
had found a camera, and queried if it was one of the cameras stolen from
team members. Zleekha Muhtaseb arranged for Benvie, who had been on team at
the time the cameras were stolen, to go to the police station the following
morning. The camera turned out to be a broken one the team had discarded.
Tuesday 19 June 2007
While on patrol at around 11:30 AM, Benvie and Kern observed an Israeli Army
jeep and a bulldozer driving along Shuhada Street. They followed the
vehicles, as they turned left up Qarantina Street. The vehicles drove past
the Israeli military checkpoint and proceeded to reinforce an existing
As Benvie and Kern passed the Gutnick Centre checkpoint, they observed that
the barriers had been moved across to block the way to Palestinians. As
they approached with their camera, the Border Policeman moved the barrier
back to allow Palestinians to pass.
Benvie and Kern met two women from an international human rights group
standing near the Ibrahimi Mosque checkpoint. As they spoke, they observed
the Israeli Border Police roughly searching a young Palestinian man. Benvie
and two other internationals began taking photographs. When a Border Police
Officer noticed them, he told them to stop. After the internationals
insisted that they had the right to take photographs, the Border Police
Officer spoke with someone on the radio, then walked away from the group
without saying anything further.
Two of the international women returned to the CPT apartment with Benvie and
Kern for a pre-arranged meeting to exchange news. Hanson took them for a
roof top tour. Another international reported later that soldiers had not
allowed him to enter into the Old City and the Border Police told him to
return to Tel Rumeida 'the other way.' He returned via Shuhada Street.
Benvie and Kern went to the Palestinian police station with Muhtaseb as a
follow-up to a meeting with the delegation the previous week. The officers
described the restrictions the Israeli occupation forces place on their
ability to work, in both H1 and H2. Although, according to the Hebron
Accords, H1 is under Palestinian control, the Israeli army frequently enters
the area. They advise the Palestinian police when they are entering the
area and inform them that they will shoot anyone seen with a weapon,
including the police. If Palestinian police need to travel through areas B
or C, they must ask permission from the Israeli military. Recently after
violence in the nearby village of Sa'ir, the local police required
assistance from Hebron, but the Israeli authorities did not give permission
for officers to travel from Hebron to Sa'ir until the next day.
The Israeli military surrounded an area containing three schools involved in
the Tawjihi matriculation exams, from 10:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. On June
11, the first day of the exams, two Israeli army jeeps were outside the Al
Hussein School in H1. The soldiers stopped and questioned 17-18 year old
Palestinian boys on their way to the exams.
A friend of CPT reported that B'tselem had spoken with Israeli authorities
about the behavior of the Border Police at the Ibrahimi Mosque checkpoint.
The friend said that B'tselem had received a telephone hotline number for
the Border Police commander. He asked the team to advise him of any violent
behavior, long detentions or attempted restrictions on international
monitors so that B'tselem can contact the commander.
At around 7:00 p.m., a young Palestinian boy from the souq reported that
settlers were throwing stones at his home. Benvie, a visiting international
from the Tuwani team, Granberg, and Muhtaseb went to the home, but the
settlers had gone. The mother showed the group the windows that settlers
had broken with stones in previous weeks, and spoke about frequent
harassment from the settlers who live in the army base.
At around 10:30 p.m., a group of Israeli soldiers ran up Shuhada Street
shouting. They stood outside the army base, pointed their guns in the
direction of the Palestinian homes, and fired their unloaded weapons. They
continued shouting for about an hour.
Wednesday 20 June 2007
The Border Police at the Gutnick Center held four men for over half an hour.
Following a phone call from B'tselem, the police released them.
Around 10:30 p.m., a group of Israeli soldiers walked up Shuhada Street,
singing, shouting, and carrying two empty stretchers. They entered the army
base where they sang and clapped rowdily for about half an hour.
Thursday 21 June 2007
In the morning, Benvie and Kern went out on patrol, walking up Haret
il-Jaber, called "Worshipper's Way" by the settlers, with some international
human rights workers to see a house settlers had occupied earlier in the
In the afternoon, Benvie, Hanson and Kern traveled to Tuwani for a joint CPT
Friday 22 June 2007
Benvie and Kern went on noon mosque patrol. The Border Police at the Gutnick
Center held four men for over half an hour, but again released them after a
phone call from B'tselem.
Friends of the CPT's Colombia team who had attended a World Council of
Churches conference in Amman stayed overnight.
Saturday 23 June 2007
Hanson, Kern and the visitors went to Hanthala caf