Hebron: Settlers Beat Palestinian Reporter, Punch CPTer During Olive Harvest


The Fall Signs of the Times reported the closure of CPT's Hebron Project site. A few of the updates from CPT personnel tasked with tying loose ends and exploring options for future work are included in this issue.

On Saturday 18 October, four Israeli settlers beat a Palestinian journalist in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron.  His injuries required hospital treatment.

Abed Hashlamoun, a photographer for the European Pressphoto Agency, had been photographing Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals harvesting olives together in an event organized by Tel Rumeida landowners.  As Hashlamoun walked alone through the olive groves, the group of male settlers knocked him to the ground and began beating and kicking him.

Several of the olive pickers heard his cries and ran to help him.  One settler seized Hashlamoun's camera.  CPTer Janet Benvie approached him and asked him to return it; he did not respond.  When Benvie grasped the camera strap the young man punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground, then hurled the camera into the rocky field below.

The settlers were still nearby when Israeli soldiers arrived.  "I repeatedly asked the soldiers to detain the men who attacked us, but instead they permitted the attackers to leave the scene," said Benvie.

The Israeli military declared the area a closed military zone, ordered an end to the olive picking, and required the Israeli and international olive pickers to leave the area.

Hashlamoun was taken to hospital for treatment and released shortly after.  Benvie sustained a cut and bruising to her face, but did not require medical treatment.

The attack came two days after the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the eviction of settlers from a four-story building in Hebron. (The eviction was carried out 4 Dec.)