HEBRON UPDATE: February 15-29, 2000

CPTnet
March 1, 2000
HEBRON UPDATE: February 15-29, 2000

Tuesday Feb. 15
Most of the CPT team went to observe a settler
demonstration at a Palestinian owned gas station
scheduled to reopen on Shuhada street. The gas
station has been closed for many years because
it is close to a Jewish settlement and deemed a
security risk. Several hundred settlers showed
up for the demonstration which called for its
continued closure. One speaker warned that
reopening the gas station "would be a point for
the terrorists". Palestinian foot traffic was
prevented from passing by the demonstration and
was re-routed on a foot-path above Shuhada
street. The gas station remains closed.

Thursday Feb.17
Rich Meyer and Doug Wingeier went to Beit Ummar
to visit Ibrahim 'Alamiya, a farmer threatened
with house demolition, and were informed that
several weeks ago neighbors brought word that
"they are taking your land". When Ibrahim went
to see his land which is several miles from his
house, he saw that settlers had bulldozed a road
around 100 dunams of grapevines (24 dunams
belong to his family, 4-6 belong to him alone).
This is often the first step in land
confiscation, and the family expects that a
fence will be put up around their land soon,
effectively cutting it off from those who own
it. Ibrahim has talked with Abdel Hadi Hantash
of the Land Defense Committee who told him to
get all his ownership papers together to begin
legal proceedings.

Sunday Feb. 20
While Meyer, Wingeier, and Anita Fast were
giving a tour of Hebron to some people from LAW
(a Palestinian legal rights center), they saw
Israeli soldiers take seven Palestinians out of
two taxi's on their way into the Palestinian
controlled part of Hebron. The soldiers began
to do an I.D. check while the CPTers watched.
The Palestinians informed the soldiers that they
needed to get to their stores to open them, but
the I.D. check dragged on and on. CPTers
remained with the Palestinians until they were
finally released, almost an hour later. A
routine I.D. check is supposed to take no longer
than 15 minutes. Anything over 30 minutes is
considered a detention.

Tuesday Feb. 22
CPT was informed today about a West Bank
teacher's strike. Teachers are demanding an
increase in their salaries, which has actually
decreased in past years. Their wages are
between $300-$500 U.S. per month. The
Palestinian media has been discouraged from
covering the strike, and a T.V. station which
interviewed some teachers has been closed by the
Palestinian Authority.

Thursday Feb. 24
Fast and Reinhard Kober went to observe a
teachers strike demonstration at the Ministry of
Education. At least 400 teachers gathered for
the demonstration, which was policed by
Palestinian Authority forces in bullet proof
vests and helmets. "This is not a political
strike", one of the teachers told Fast, "this is
a strike just for food We are starving.
Teachers live in bad conditions. We do not have
money to buy food and clothing for our
children." The demonstration lasted an hour and
ended peacefully.

Later that evening, Kober went to investigate a
report that the Naef Abu Daoud family, who lives
in Hebron's Old Market, has had plastic bags
full of garbage thrown into their courtyard by
settlers from Avraham Avinu settlement. The
garbage bags burst open and spread food waste,
children toys, and office papers all over their
porch. Soldiers, who witnessed the harassment
from their station on the Abu Daoud family's
roof, said "What can we do? They are Jews!"

As Kober returned to the CPT apartment, he
witnessed two young settler children running on
the street to stop a Palestinian taxi. After
beating with their hands on the hood of the car,
they ran off, watched by 5 soldiers who were
only several meters behind them. Kober asked
the soldiers why they cannot prevent this
provocation by the kids. One of the soldiers
responded, "We can't do anything. Only the
police are allowed to do something".

Friday Feb. 25
Meyer, Fast, Kober, Wingeier, and David Cockburn
went to the Al Atrash home to help remove rubble
from a collapsing terrace wall. Removal of the
rubble is the first step in preparing to rebuild
it.

Upon returning to Hebron, CPT received word that
more garbage had been thrown onto the porch of
the Abu Daoud family. Fast, Cockburn, and Kober
went with Palestinian journalist, Kawther Salaam
to the family's home and documented the
situation as Salaam began arranging to lodge a
formal complaint with the military.

Saturday Feb. 26
Fast and Jamey Bouwmeester went to a PPP
(Palestinian People's Party) rally and march
against land confiscation and on behalf of
refugees. Hundreds of people gathered with
flags, signs and banners. Some of the chants
were: "How can we fight occupation while we're
arresting each other?" and "We want a
sovereignty of Laws that applies to everyone."

Sunday Feb.27
Meyer and Dianne Roe taught the children's
Sunday school class at the Lutheran Church of
the Redeemer, where many CPTers attend church.
Meyer and Roe spoke with the children about non-
violence and ways to non-violently confront
violent situations.

Monday Feb. 28
Harassment continued today for the Abu Daoud
family living beside the Avraham Avinu
settlement when soldiers stationed on their roof
began stomping on their metal roof until Nazeeha
Abu Daoud came out of her room screaming. They
then threw a small but heavy piece of metal down
through the mesh wire covering the family
courtyard and porch areas. Fast went with
Kawthur Salaam to their home. Salaam suspects
that the harassment from the soldiers is due to
her complaint to the commander of the army, who
had paid the Abu Daoud family a visit earlier
that day and promised to "look into" settler
harassment.

Tuesday Feb. 29
As Meyer, Rick Carter, Roe, and Wingeier were
walking along the highway after visiting CSD
families in Beit Ummar, a jeep full of soldiers
passed them, stopped, turned around, and stopped
in front of them. All of the soldiers got out
of the jeep and one of them said "We don't
usually see people like you walking out here".
Roe let them know that we have friends in the
area. The soldiers said nothing and the CPTers <