HEBRON UPDATE: 22 October-4 November 2007
CPTnet November 27, 2007 HEBRON UPDATE: 22 October-4 November 2007
Team members during this period included Jan Benvie, Laura Ciaghi, Jessica
Frederick, Lorne Friesen, Christina Gibb, Donna Hicks, Bob Holmes, Sarah
Shirk, Jonathan Stucky, Mary Wendeln, and Mary Rose.
Monday 22 October
In the morning, Border Police detained a Palestinian teacher and searched
the bags of ten Palestinian children in ten minutes. Jessica Frederick
spoke with three Border Police and one civilian police officer and presented
them with a legal position on paper from the Civil Administration stating
they could not search the bags of children on their way to or from school.
One Border Police said, "Someone puts a bomb in the bag of a 'little one,'
as you call them."
Frederick, Christina Gibb, and Donna Hicks went to the Ibrahimiyye Boys'
School to meet with the headmaster and Hani (not his real name), a boy in a
wheelchair that they are accompanying to school. A wall erected by the
Israeli authorities prevents him from a direct route to his school (See 16
November 2007 CPTnet release, "Obstacles to school, obstacles to peace.")
The headmaster told them that Israeli soldiers tried to destroy the
Palestinian Authority ID of a teacher they detained in the morning. One of
the Palestinian school staff said, "When he [the teacher] would take it [the
ID] out for a soldier, he would start laughing on (sic) him."
Wednesday 24 October
On afternoon patrol, Frederick and Mary Wendeln caught up with three
soldiers walking hurriedly through the market with a map in hand. The
soldiers started down a hill and positioned themselves low on the ground
with their guns aimed. They rapidly entered a nearby building and went up
its steps. The soldiers, ahead of the CPTers, entered a home. Hearing them
inside, Frederick opened the door and propped it open with her foot as
Wendeln informed the soldiers they needed to leave, because they did not
show a search warrant. Frederick snapped a picture before a soldier pushed
the door shut. After a few minutes, the soldiers left and took the stairs
to a higher level in the building.
When they left the apartment, Frederick and Wendeln entered the home to find
a visibly shaken mother with her eighteen-month-old son. Wendeln called
Zleekha Muhtaseb, who translated for the woman. She said the soldiers came
into the house unannounced and physically dragged her and her child from the
laundry room to the living room. Muhtaseb told Frederick members of the
family have connections to Hamas (one spent time in jail), so soldiers
periodically harass them in their home. Frederick and Wendeln stayed with
the family, sharing tea, cookies, dinner, and coffee with them. Finally,
the soldiers exited the building.
Thursday 25 October
CPT Delegation members went on school patrol with the team. One delegate
had an extended conversation with a soldier, whose brigade arrived in Hebron
from Gaza. He said he liked being in Hebron better, because in Gaza
soldiers did not interact with Palestinians. He said to the delegate,
"They're human beings. They have rights."
Gibb and Wendeln went to Qurtuba School for afternoon school patrol. Hisham
Sharabati told them young men were burning tires and throwing stones in Bab
iZawiyya. He said shopkeepers were going on strike, because a Palestinian
prisoner had been killed in an Israeli jail the day before. The deputy
principal dismissed the children as usual, despite the whiff of tear gas and
sounds of percussion grenades from the direction of the checkpoint. The
children and teachers were unable to travel freely home because the army had
closed the checkpoint and some of the roads. Eventually, two TIPH
(Temporary International Presence in Hebron) members escorted them along a
path and up a steep track where they were vulnerable to harassment by
soldiers and attack by settlers from Tel Rumeida.
Frederick and Lorne Friesen accompanied Hani to and from school and visited
with a friend of Hani's family. Years ago, one of his sons was at a
checkpoint when Israeli soldiers shot and killed a child. This traumatized
his son. When Friesen asked him if he studied a lot for school, the
translator (a friend of the family) explained the trauma he experienced had
made studying difficult; he now has a very poor memory. The translator said,
"They [the Israeli soldiers] ruined his future."
At about 3:00 p.m., Hicks and Gibb went out on patrol to see what was
happening in Bab iZawiyya. A rubber bullet had hit someone in the neck. He
was not seriously hurt and was refusing to go in an ambulance. The CPTers
saw a group of boys running towards the checkpoint. One by one, they ran and
threw their stones, then ran out of sight. The army retaliated from the
checkpoint with tear gas canisters and percussion grenades. The tear gas
overcame an older man, who lay in the street while passersby administered
Friday 26 October
After a short prayer, the delegation and the team headed for the Al Jabari
and Da'na lands to pick olives. One ISM (International Solidarity Movement)
member tried to conduct interviews with Palestinians and some Israeli
settlers. The ISMer said Palestinians would not give interviews, because
"they were arrested the last time" they gave interviews.
On their way home, at the Mosque checkpoint, CPTers saw border police
restraining an elderly Palestinian man by pulling at his clothes, while they
laughed at him. Gibb told the soldiers their behaviour was disgraceful.
One of the soldiers said it was only a joke; they were just having fun.
Gibb said it was not a joke for the man, and they had a responsibility to
respect Palestinian civilians, who are also children of God.
Saturday 27 October
While on CPT's roof, Mary Rose and a soldier on duty on the roof across the
road began chatting. Rose offered the soldier a brochure to describe the
work of CPT. They decided to meet in Shuhada Street, so Rose asked Muhtaseb
for access through her house. The two went to Muhtaseb's front door. After
aggressive settler adolescents confronted them and a soldier questioned them
about using the door, the other soldier arrived to collect the brochure.
When Jan Benvie and Hicks approached the Gutnick Center checkpoint at around
4:00 p.m., they observed four Israeli border police surrounding a
Palestinian man, forcing him to remove his trousers. As