17 June 2014
AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Hijacking a kidnapping, Part II
The public so far knows very little outside of the alleged time that Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach were kidnapped. But what we do know is the absolute mayhem the Israeli military has spread throughout the Hebron district among innocent families. Additionally, routine night raids, day patrols, confiscation of public property for military outposts, and the blockades on all but two access points into Hebron have suffocated the livelihood of Hebronites.
Soldiers raided the home and took possession of the Al Awewe family home in Aqbet Taffuh for six hours on Sunday. Over fifty troops had occupied the home while three adults, four young girls, and a young boy were in the home. The Israeli military would not allow a one-year-old baby to leave the house and her mother had to sit outside helplessly wondering about the safety of her daughter, who was still nursing. The soldiers found no suspects connected to the kidnapping in the home.
In that same area on Monday morning, the IDF confiscated the security camera equipment the al-Natshe family had installed around their house for their protection, along with video footage the cameras had recorded.
Further down the road in the Aqbet Taffuh area, approximately fifty-five Israeli soldiers left the hilltop area of the Palestinian municipality, occupied several homes, questioned families, tore down a private Palestinian fence and occupied the neighborhood for several hours.
Throughout the afternoon, northeast of Bab i-Zaweyah, just outside of the H1/H2 intersection, a brigade of more than forty soldiers stationed themselves in four different homes and a supermarket within a two hour period, leaving families frightened and unsure of their intentions.
On 15 June at around 9:30 p.m., an Israeli raid on a Palestinian home ended with a seven-year-old Palestinian boy hospitalized after the Israeli military used an explosive device to blow open the front door of the Akram Al Qawasmeh home. The subsequent powerful blast shattered the tempered reinforced glass, shearing off the decorative steel and sending pieces of shrapnel into all corners of the home, which severely injured Akram Al Qawasmeh’s son.
After the explosion, Israeli soldiers did not allow Akram Al Qawasmeh to see his son, and according to reports, the military initially stopped medical personal from treating the victim. CPT arrived the following day and found a home turned upside down. (See video below.) Children’s belongings were spread and broken around the house. Israeli soldiers demolished the kitchen, smashing fruits, vegetables, and other food items on the floor, and left feces on a rug in the basement.
These are just a few of the incidents that CPTers were able to report on directly. Other human rights organizations have also reported an increase in settler violence against Palestinians who live near the Hebron area settlements.
Historically, Palestinian violence has been the justification for settlement expansion in Hebron. Currently, the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee has identified over twenty-two locations of pending settlement expansion and settler activity. The behavior of the Israeli military and settlers in Hebron suggests the government may use the case of the three young kidnapped boys as an excuse to expand these settlements in the Hebron area or elsewhere in the West Bank while the international community is distracted.
See previous release, AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Hijacking a kidnapping, Part I