Recent CPTnet stories

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Revenge devoid of purpose—punitive demolitions of Palestinian homes


 If Israel’s assault on Gaza this summer has been blind, primal violence on a macro scale, the demolition of three Palestinian apartment blocks in Hebron during the early hours of 18 August 2014—punitive retaliation against the suspected culprits in the kidnapping of three Israeli youth in June—represented pointless violence and suffering on a micro scale.  Yet that micro event, multiplied thousands of times over the days, weeks and years of occupation, adds up to what has been called “incremental genocide” in the sense of destroying a culture and its ability to survive.

Between 2001-2005, according to B’tselem figures, Israel demolished 664 Palestinian homes as forms of punishment.*  These demolitions displaced 4,182 innocent people, many of them neighbors of the suspect’s family, and occurred often on the basis of suspicion alone.

Hussam al-Qawasmi house (Photo: Yousef Natsheh)

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli Military displaces family, stones observers, shuts down Old City for midnight settler tour

In the first week of August, the Israeli military added to the normal hardships people who live in and around the area of Hebron’s Old City must endure.

On 1 August 2014, the Israeli military occupied the rooftop of the al-Rajabi house in Jebal Johar near the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba at approximately 6 p.m.  According witnesses, the Israeli soldiers left the rooftop at around 7:00 p.m. and fired five tear gas grenades into the home, setting the interior into flames.  The result was a total loss of the family’s personal items. 

 Seven Palestinians live in the home. Five children, four boys and girl are now homeless. 

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Settlers break into Palestinian shops

n 30 July 2014, Israelis entered into Palestinian shops in Hebron’s Old City near Beit Hadassah with industrial tools, using cutting blades and torches to open the doors, despite the presence of Israeli military security who were overlooking the shops.

Christian Peacemaker Teams and the International Solidarity Movement volunteers made several attempts to advise the Israeli military and police to intervene on the breaking and entering into the Palestinian shops. Despite showing the Israeli military video evidence of the account, the police failed to show up and intervene.

The following day, Israeli settler children during the afternoon threw rocks down from the Beit Hadassah settlement onto Palestinians walking on the street below the settlement. Later on that night, settlers again re-entered the property despite the Israeli military having designated the area a closed military zone for Israeli settlers and Palestinians alike.


Settler jumps on awning after throwing stones at Palestinians
and internationals

CHICAGO, USA: CPTers lament Palestinian deaths; two arrested at Israeli consulate.


On Friday, 18 July, the day after Israel announced its ground invasion of Gaza, about thirty members and supporters of Christian Peacemakerprocession Teams (CPT) converged at the Israeli Consulate in downtown Chicago to lament the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians and denounce Israel’s indefensible violence. 

Vigil participants, representing at least seven countries, carried large photographs of Palestinian children killed in Gaza.  As they walked slowly in mournful procession around the skyscraper that houses the Israeli Consulate, a single voice rang out over a loud speaker, piercing the silence with the name of each Palestinian who had died as a result of Israel’s military operations since 12 June 2014. 

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: Gaza and the end of Ramadan in Hebron

 

 
 Israeli soldiers monitor Friday Ramadan Prayers

The streets of Hebron were unusually quiet on the 26th night of Ramadan.  These are the final days of holiest time of the year in Islam.  As we stood at the entrance to the Ibrahimi Mosque we noticed that the numbers of worshippers were significantly down from a year ago.  A year ago we also saw more venders selling falafels, pastries, corn, tea, coffee, juice, ice cream and kabobs.  A year ago so many people flowed through the streets of Hebron’s Old City to attend the Mosque services or to shop, that walking was difficult.

This year, perhaps out of fear, people were at home watching the news on TV.  (We heard that in Jerusalem there are fewer numbers also on the streets of and worshipping in the mosques this month.)  At Bab iZawya on this night, we found a small crowd of young and middle aged men who had showed up even though no demonstration had been called for that scheduled.  At 2:00 a.m., they were still standing around, looking as though they were waiting for something to happen.  Every now and then, a boy threw a stone and ducked for cover.