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Archive for the ‘Terror’ Category

Israeli Settlers Throw Stones at Palestinian Shepherds:

“Two Israeli settlers from the illegal outpost Havat Ma’on hurl stones with slingshots at Palestinian shepherds and international peace activists.

Palestinian shepherds, farmers, and schoolchildren routinely face harassment from the Israeli settlers of Ma’on and Havat Ma’on. Settlers use violence and intimidation to make privately owned Palestinian land inaccessible to Palestinians in the South Hebron hills.”


Related Reports:
AL-KHALIL/HEBRON UPDATE: August 2009

Source: CPT.org
5 September 2009

[Note: According to the Geneva Conventions, the International Court of Justice in the Hague, and numerous United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal.]

On team during this period were Claire Evans, John Harris, Aida Hayes, Loren Peters, Paulette Schroeder, and Michael Sharp (intern).

General Situation

Although CPTers observe fewer episodes of abuse at checkpoints than they had in some months, Israeli soldiers and border police perpetrated at least two serious incidents: a beating on 8 August and a shooting on 26 August. Israeli settlers encroached on land in the Beqa’a Valley. Settler sponsored tours continued regularly through the souq (market) on Saturday afternoons, even in the midst of Ramadan crowds. Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting and prayer began on August 22 and continued into the following month.

Networking

The team attended meetings of the Association of International Development Agencies working in the Occupied Territories (AIDA) (in Jerusalem on 3 August); of the Peace Teams Forum for international groups working in the West Bank (in Huwarra on 5 August); and of Palestinian, Israeli, and international nonviolent activists working in Al Khalil and Hebron District (on 18 August). The team visited Wi’am, a Palestinian conflict resolution center (in Bethlehem on 26 August). CPT was in contact with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine/Israeli (EAPPI) throughout the month and met with the groups on 25 August to coordinate school patrol duties and other street monitoring to begin in September.

School Patrols

School was in summer break throughout the month. On 18 August, Peters and Schroeder met with the principals of Qurtuba and Ibrahimi Schools to build stronger relationships with the schools in anticipation of the upcoming academic year.

Visits to Palestinian families

The team began to visit families in vulnerable areas of the Old City of Hebron and surrounding areas to familiarize them with the work of CPT and encourage them to call the team in case of soldier or settler harassment.

Saturday 1 August
Peters and Schroeder visited the Sameeh Dana family, whose home backs up to the Kiryat Arba settlement. The family faces challenges every day because of their proximity to the settlement.

Saturday 15 August

Schroeder visited a couple and their four children at their home in the Old City. The father is apparently unemployed and the family is very poor. Schroeder visited the family again on 19 August.

Saturday 22 August

Schroeder and Evans broke Ramadan fast with another family in the Old City. The household included a couple with two sons and two daughters in their late teens or early 20s, together with the married daughter’s two little girls, about two and four years old. The married daughter’s husband was in prison. The family had moved to this house, newly renovated by the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC), about three weeks earlier.

Wednesday 26 August
Schroeder and Evans broke the fast with another Old City family, a woman and her four children, ranging in age from about one to ten years. The father was absent, working in Israel. The home sits across the alley from the Israeli settlement of Avraham Avinu and the family has experienced frequent harassment from settlers, including shooting into their windows. Israeli soldiers have prohibited the family from putting glass in one of their windows. This house was also renovated by HRC.

Thursday 27 August
A Palestinian partner invited Peters to join him in breaking fast at the Glassblowers’ Mosque. HRC sponsored Iftar (the breaking of the fast) in a different venue inside the Old City each evening as a sign of resistance to the occupation.

Saturday 29 August
Members of the team broke fast with women from the Women’s Cooperative in the Old City and at the home they had visited on 22 August. Members of EAPPI and ISM also joined in.

Settler Activity

Saturday 1 August
Hayes and Schroeder walked along Shuhada St to the Chicken Gate, just outside the CPT apartment. As they arrived, at the mini-playground Israeli settlers had created there the previous week, they were confronted by two settler boys who said, “You have no right to be here. We will hit you with a stone and kill you.”

Peters, Harris, and Sharp tailed the weekly tour of the Old City sponsored by the settler community. At the second stop, two boys on the tour darted away from tour group. Soldiers quickly apprehended one boy. At least two groups of Israeli soldiers ran into the Old City with their guns drawn. The tour eventually withdrew from the center of the souq. Half an hour later, Sharp saw soldiers leading missing boy out of Old City and taking him away in a car.

Monday 3 August
Peters, Schroeder, and Hayes attempted to visit families in Tel Rumeida in the early evening. Taking a back route, they passed through the yard of a settler family. Settler women chided and photographed the team members and tried to grab Schroeder’s camera. Israeli soldiers directed the three CPTers past the house. Someone within the house threw an egg at Hayes from above, hitting her in the head. The soldiers called the police, who escorted the CPTers back down to the main road. Neither the soldiers nor the police took action against the settler who assaulted Hayes.

Friday 7 August
About 10:30 a.m., Harris, Peters, and Hayes responded to a call about settler activity on the land of Mohammed Mustafa Jaber, in the Beqa’a Valley. According to Jaber, Israeli soldiers arrived in a jeep about 3:00 a.m. and took some photos. The jeep returned about 6:00 a.m. and waited at the junction of the village road and Highway 60. Forty or fifty settlers arrived between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m., accompanied by about twenty Israeli soldiers in six or seven jeeps. Settlers planted about sixty tree seedlings, each about seventy-five cm in height, on one of the family’s garden terraces, sixty meters directly above the family home. The police and soldiers protected the settlers, and prevented the family from talking to them. The settlers left about 11:00 a.m. The civil administration (Israeli military) police told the Jaber family that the settlers should not be planting trees there. The family had just finished uprooting the trees from their land when CPT arrived. CPT observed the last three Israeli police leaving at that time. The family said settlers had done the same thing the previous Friday.

Saturday 8 August
Following a settler-sponsored tour in the Old City, two Jewish visitors were talking with Israeli soldiers at Al Sahla* gate, near the Ibrahimi Mosque. Nearby Palestinian shopkeepers described how one had removed his kipah (head covering) and put it in his pocket and started to walk up into the souq (market). The soldiers stopped him.

Sunday 9 August
Evans and Schroeder, with four members of Michigan Peace Team, walked up “Worshippers Way” to a synagogue outpost that had been set up by settlers about two years ago. As the group stood in front of the outpost opposite Kiryat Arba settlement, an Israeli military jeep pulled up and soldiers questioned the team’s purpose there.

Tuesday 11 August
At about 11:45 a.m., Harris and two members of ISM responded again to a call about settler activity in Beqa’a Valley on Mohammed Mustafa Jaber’s land. When the team arrived, residents of the Beqa’a informed them that four settlers had come and picnicked on the same land where settlers had planted trees the previous two Fridays. Ten Israeli soldiers had accompanied the four settlers.

Wednesday 12 August
CPTers observed some 150 French Jewish visitors waving Israeli flags, shouting, and processing in front of the Palestinian shops near Al Sahla checkpoint. A group of six to eight pro-Palestinian French people were visiting in the same shops. The two groups began shouting at each other. One leader and one soldier kept the groups separated.

Friday 14 August
Hayes and Schroeder with members of ISM traveled to the Beqa’a Valley where there had been settler tree-plantings on the two previous Fridays. During the several hours they spent on the land of Mustafa Jaber and other families in the Beqa’a, no settlers appeared.

Monday 17 August
A Palestinian shopkeeper was engaged in intense conversation with Israeli Border Police when Schroeder and Peters neared Al Sahla gate on midday patrol. The man explained to the team that loud music was played every day from the nearby Gutnick Center (the settler community center) from 6:30 am until 12:00 midnight. His complaints were to no avail.

Wednesday 19 August
Hayes and Schroeder discovered the Qasaba* Gate locked during morning patrol and saw five Israeli army jeeps by the Qitoun* checkpoint. Palestinian neighbors reported that Jewish holy days were beginning, but the Israeli authorities had not notified them as they had on previous years. Soldiers told members of the Israeli observer group Machsom Watch that this was the first day of the Jewish Holy Month ending with Rosh Hashanah. Large numbers of pilgrims arrived by bus for the day. Later they paraded down Shuhada Street with loud jubilant music.

Saturday 22 August
Schroeder, Evans, and Peters observed the settler tour from 4:40 to 6:10 pm. On this first day of Ramadan, the Old City was full of Palestinian men coming from prayers and shopping for Iftar. TIPH (Temporary International Presence in Hebron), ISM, and EAPPI as well as CPT accompanied the tour, which eight Israeli soldiers also escorted. The soldiers were polite as they held a path open for Palestinians who were making their way through the crowd of people on the tour. The guide spoke first in Hebrew and then in English. Schroeder asked the tour guide, “Have you told the people here that the Jews and Muslims all lived peacefully here in this city at one time?” He said in response, “There is no such person as a Palestinian. That was a name made up in the 15th century.”

Thursday 27 August
A Palestinian partner of the team, who is member of the HRC, had seen a photograph of a large new water tank two days earlier near the Avraham Avinu settlement; he was afraid that indicated settlers were about to occupy another building. Peters and Schroeder photographed the area, but the photos showed no evidence of the new tank at this time.

Saturday 29 August

The weekly settler tour entered an abandoned house off the souq. Settlers had regularly invaded this house during previous Saturday tours, even when there was still an elderly Palestinian couple living there. The weekly tour of twenty-thirty visitors was again escorted by Israeli soldiers and observed by CPT, EAPPI, ISM, and TIPH. The Ramadan crowds were not as large as last week.

Soldier and Border Police Activity

Thursday 6 August
Schroeder and Peters responded to a call about a detention at the Al Sahla* checkpoint about 4:00 p.m. By the time they arrived, soldiers had released the fourteen-year-old Palestinian boy, but he was in tears after thirty minutes of detention and harassment.

Saturday 8 August
When Evans and Schroeder approached the Al Sahla checkpoint around 5:00 p.m., they saw a Border Policeman running by the checkpoint barriers. Moments later a young Palestinian boy was crying out in pain, sitting by the barrier. The young sweets seller had been beaten on the back and neck by the Border Policeman. (See article, http://cpt.org/cptnet/2009/08/21/al-khaliilhebron-israeli-soldier-assaults-palestinian-boy-near-ibrahimi-mosque.) Israeli wrote a report about the incident and called the Army captain, who also responded.

Sunday 9 August
About noon, a Palestinian partner giving a tour notified the team that a soldier was treating a Palestinian youth very rudely at the Qasaba checkpoint. By the time Evans and Schroeder arrived, the soldiers had released him.
Monday 10 August
When Harris went to meet a friend near the Al Sahla checkpoint, he saw two middle-aged Palestinian American men whom soldiers had detained at the checkpoint for two hours. Harris tried to notify TIPH and then called the team, but by the time Schroeder arrived, the men had been released.

Wednesday 12 August
About 12:30 p.m., Peters and Schroeder observed a young Palestinian man standing with arms up and hands against the wall near Qitoun checkpoint. An Israeli soldier twisted one of his arms behind his back while patting down that side of the boy’s body, then the other side. The soldiers released the boy after the search.

Saturday 22 August
Five border police patrolled in front of the CPT apartment. Schroeder began a conversation with them as she and Evans returned from morning patrol. She asked one soldier, “Whom do you protect?” The soldier said, “We are here to protect the Israeli citizens.” [Note: According to international law, an occupying military force is obligated to protect all local residents from attacks or harassment, and to protect their lives, person, and property.]

Tuesday 25 August
A Palestinian partner from the HRC and a man from the Land Research Center in Jerusalem, stopped at the CPT apartment mid-morning. They were investigating a story that had appeared in the press about the demolition of a three-story building in Al Kayal, the old produce market in the Old City. Schroeder and Evans walked to the area to document the situation, but saw no evidence of demolition.

Tuesday 25 August
Peters spoke with a family of three American Jews who had come through the Old City but were then refused entry back through the Al Sahla gate. The mother was quite upset, arguing with one soldier. When she pointed out that Peters could enter, the soldier looked at Peters and said, “You are Christian, yes.”

Wednesday 26 August
About 11:00 am, the team received a call from ISM that there had been a shooting at the Tel Rumeida (Duboyya Street) checkpoint. Making their way to the scene, Schroeder, Peters, and Evans found the Qasaba Gate closed and exited the souq through gate 4/5. After soldiers prevented their going up Shuhada Street, the team went through the Palestinian cemetery and through terraced orchards to get to Tel Rumeida. ISM called about 11:20 to say the victim was being removed. Soldiers stopped the CPTers shortly before the Tel Rumeida checkpoint. TIPH and an ISM member arrived by about 11:35. The ISM member said she heard soldiers telling TIPH that a Palestinian man went through the checkpoint; when soldiers called to him and he did not stop, he reportedly pulled a knife, and two soldiers responded by firing shots, reportedly hitting him in the leg and chest. (CPT members later heard from Palestinians in the souq that the man had died; these reports subsequently proved to be false.)

Thursday 27 August
Peters and Evans watched soldiers who had stopped a man briefly at the Al Rajabi checkpoint about 9:25 a.m. The CPTers asked one of the soldiers if he had any information on the shooting the previous day. The soldier said the victim was in the hospital. A TIPH member later confirmed that the man was in stable condition in the hospital.

Friday 28 August
Peters and Schroeder observed intense Israeli military security presence near the Old City about 9:00 a.m., particularly near the Qitoun checkpoint. Hundreds of people attended the Ibrahimi Mosque for prayers. During Fridays in Ramadan, the entire building is open to Muslims and closed to Jews.

*Based on the suggestion of CPT’s Advisory Council, this update uses names for the city gates and checkpoints that reflect the Palestinian neighborhoods where they are located. The list below gives the term formerly used and the new term:
Old: Ibrahimi Mosque / New: Al Qasaba
Old: Gutnick or Abed / New: Al Sahla
Old: Yatta Road / New: Qitoun or Abu Al Reesh

Palestine Video – A Palestine Vlog

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Israel: Shooting American an ‘Act of War’:

“Israel has declared the shooting of unarmed American demonstrator Tristan Anderson in the West Bank to be a act of war in a bid to avoid compensating his family.”

Palestine Video – A Palestine Vlog

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Palestinians mourn demonstrator’s death – 18 Apr 09:

“Hundreds of Palestinians have marched through the West bank town of Bilin to mourn the death of a Palestinian man killed by Israeli troops during a peaceful protest.

Al Jazeera’s Clayton Swisher reports on what some observers say is an increase in the level of force Israel uses against unarmed activists.”

Palestine Video – A Palestine Vlog

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Scores orphaned in Israel’s war on Gaza – 18 Apr 09:

“At least 83 children lost both parents and 2,200 lost at least one during Israel’s recent war on Gaza.

Among them, are the Bashir brothers, whose mother, father and eldest brother were killed by an Israeli air attack in front of their eyes.

As orphans, they are entitled to nearly $2,600 in assistance from the deposed government in Gaza, but getting that money has been a challenge.

Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports.”

Palestine Video – A Palestine Vlog

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DN! 1-Year Anniversary of Israeli Killing of Cameraman, Youths:

“Gazans, Journalists Mark 1-Year Anniversary of Israeli Killing of Cameraman, Youths

In other news from Gaza, journalists from around the world gathered in Gaza City to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of Reuters camera operator Fadel Shana. The twenty-four-year-old Shana died on April 16, 2008, after an Israeli tank shelled his vehicle that was clearly marked press. Shanas final piece of footage shows the tank firing a shell before his camera goes black. The attack also killed eight Palestinian youths aged between twelve and twenty years old. Reuters bureau chief Alastair Macdonald was among those to speak at Shanas memorial.”

Palestine Video – A Palestine Vlog

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Direct Shooting of Tear-Gas Canisters on Demonstrators:

B’Tselem Video proves Israeli soldiers illegal practice of directly firing teargas canisters at demonstrators.
Notice how Israeli officers train their soldiers to do so. If a soldier attempts to fire at a slightly larger angle, they would correct his aim. Which can only mean that this is not an individual act, but rather an institutionalized policy.

Palestine Video – A Palestine Vlog

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Violence as US envoy visits West Bank- 17 Apr 09:

“Israeli soldiers have shot and killed a Palestinian protester during a weekly demonstration against Israel’s separation wall in the West Bank town of Bilin, according to witnesses.

The violence came as George Mitchell, the US envoy to the Middle East, met Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, serving as a bloody reminder of the stalled peace process.

Al Jazeera’s Nour Odeh reports from Ramallah.”

Palestine Video – A Palestine Vlog

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