al-Khalil (Hebron)

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Demonstrators gather in Hebron to protest violence in Gaza




20 July 2014 Twitter @NasserBI

On Sunday, 20 July 2014, Hebron’s Youth Against Settlements, call for a demonstration in Bab i-Zawiya to protest the ongoing military action in Gaza and the escalating ground offensive by Israeli troops.  Cities all over the world held similar demonstrations condemning Israeli actions in Gaza.  Hundreds showed up for the Hebron protest.  It began at about 9:00 p.m. and was still going strong at 2:00 a.m.

Police responded to the demonstrators with live bullets, hitting at least two people, sound bombs, and tear gas in a running battle.  Some of the participants in the demonstration fought back with rocks, fireworks, burning tires, and slingshots.  Ambulances and medical technicians went back and forth to the hospital for hours, transporting the injured.  

Someone who did not want to be identified lamented,  “What are Palestinians to do?” he said, “We have no basic citizenship rights.  We have no basic protection guaranteed by the state. Our status as citizens has been clearly defined. We are not citizens. There is little or no protection from Israel, and the unrestrained among Palestinians may even create problems for the rest of us.”

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine responds to incidents occurring after teenagers’ bodies discovered

Upon the announcement that the bodies of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel had been found, the Israeli military closed the Halhul area for about two hours and arrived at the homes of the two Palestinian suspects Amer Abu Eisha and Marwan al-Qawasmeh in northwest Hebron.

As CPT was arriving on the scene, the military presence was growing.  Many Palestinians were also gathering in the neighborhood.  As the crowd grew, the military attempted to disperse the Palestinian onlookers with tear gas and sound grenades.  The crowd retreated, slowly came back, and the routine repeated a number of times without serious injuries.

At about 10:00 p.m., CPT received a call from our partners, ISM (International Solidarity Movement) that settlers from the Tel Rumeida were in the streets attacking Palestinians and internationals.  CPTers left the clashes around the suspects’ homes to monitor the situation in Tel Rumeida.  When they arrived, settlers attacked them, but CPTers did not sustain serious injuries.  As CPTers monitored the situation above Tel Rumeida, the Border Police contingent grew rapidly.  In a quick burst, they stormed the hill towards the gathered crowd of Palestinians and internationals, exploding a sound grenade.  The crowd scattered. In the clash with the military, a soldier hit a Palestinian with the butt of his gun, causing an injury for which he received treatment at a local hospital.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Christian Peacemaker Teams condemns murders

CPTnet
1 July 2014
AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Christian Peacemaker Teams condemns murders





The bodies of three yeshiva students, feared kidnapped on 12 June 2014 were found on the evening of 30 June 2014.  The missing teens, Eyal Yifrah, age 19, Gilad Shaar, age 16 and Naftali Fraenkel, age 16 were found near the town of Halhul, just north of Hebron.  This location is not far from the place that the students were thought to have been kidnapped.  CPT strongly condemns these, and all murders, and we weep with the families of all who have lost loved ones, both Israeli and Palestinian, since the news of the kidnapping. 

In addition to killing at least five Palestinians since the news of the kidnappings, the Israeli military has imprisoned hundreds without charge, raided and vandalized hundreds of homes, some repeatedly, and demolished two homes.  This response to the horrific murders of the yeshiva students will not bring peace, but only more turmoil and violence.  Lord have mercy.

What the Palestine team has observed happening in the Hebron area during the last twenty-four hours will follow shortly.




Israeli military bombs the home belonging to
the family of alleged murder suspect

Chaser Marwan Saadi Qawasmi

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…

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.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Hijacking a kidnapping, Part I


As the families of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach languish in uncertainty, grieving the disappearance of their three young boys, the world watches as their anguish is politically co-opted to provide a veil for indiscriminate Israeli military force imposed on the Palestinian communities in the West Bank.  The kidnappings also provide an opportunity for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to advance his right-wing agenda.

Netanyahu and his ilk have hijacked the legitimate, raw emotional pain of the kidnapping catastrophe and transformed it into the political impetus to section off Hebron from the rest of the world, target the Palestinian unity government, deploy intimidation and systematic abuse as a measurement of collective punishment, and strategically empower the settler enterprise in the West Bank.

Prayers for Peacemakers June 10, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers June 10, 2014

Pray for the Abu Haikels and all the families on Tel Rumeida, in Hebron who are losing land to settlement expansion in the form of an archeological dig and facing increased harassment from settlers.

See AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): The Abu Haikel family—a story of resistance.




Arwa (top left) and Faryel Abu Haikal climb onto their land to halt the demolition of their
property from the Israeli Antiquity Authority, hoping to enforce a police order previously
issued.

JERUSALEM: The case of Rachel Corrie

 
 photo Ashraf Amra
 Craig and Cindy Corrie

[Note: This release was adapted for CPTnet from a longer piece on the Palestine team’s blog.  The Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron provided nonviolence training for Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall, another International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist killed by the Israeli military, when they entered the country along with waves of other ISM activists during the early years of the Second Intifada.]

More than a decade after an Israeli military bulldozer crushed Rachel Corrie to death in Rafah, Gaza, her parents Craig and Cindy Corrie found themselves in the halls of the Supreme Court of Israel on 21 May 2014.  The Corries were appealing a verdict handed down in 2013 by Judge Oded Gershon of the Haifa District Court.

Gershon ruled that Corrie was responsible for her own death by entering Gaza during a time of conflict.  “While not surprising, the verdict is yet another example of impunity prevailing over accountability and fairness and it flies in the face of the fundamental principle of international humanitarian law—that in a time of war, military forces are obligated to take all measures to avoid harm to both civilians and their property,” said Attorney Hussein Abu Hussein, the Corries’ attorney at the Haifa hearing in 2013.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine delegation marches in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners.

 On 31 May 2014, members of the CPT Palestine delegation currently in the region joined hundreds of demonstrators at Al Aroub refugee camp to protest the illegal administrative detention of more than 100 political Palestinian political prisoners held without charges by the Israeli government. Although the demonstration remained non-violent, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas, sound bombs, and rubber bullets to disperse the demonstrators.

 The Hebron Defence Committee, a grass roots organization dedicated to resisting nonviolently the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories, helped organize the protest and invited the CPT delegation to attend.  CPT members accepted in order to observe and help document the action and show solidarity with those  imprisoned. 

 Dozens of Palestinian political prisoners are imprisoned without charge in Israeli prisons under archaic British Mandate era administrative detention laws.  These laws prohibit detention for more than six months. However, the Israeli authorities renew the detention orders repeatedly, incarcerating dozens of prisoners for  years without charging them.  Many have been on a hunger strike to protest their detention.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): The Abu Haikel family—a story of resistance.

 
 Arwa (top left) and Faryel Abu Haikal climb onto their land to halt the demolition of their
property from the Israeli Antiquity Authority, hoping to enforce a police order previously issued.

With only a sliver of their land left to protect, Feryel and Arwa Abu Heikal climbed over a pile of rubble and boulders and stopped the Israeli bulldozer from shearing further into their property, dumping their dignity into the back of a dump truck, and hauling away their rights.  They stood under the unrelenting sun, staring into the teeth of the approaching bucket excavator, protecting their land from the ever-encroaching Israeli settlement enterprise, facing arrest and physical assault—a reality they have faced for decades.  Their resilience and steadfastness held off the Israeli Antiquity Authority (I.A.A.) for a few hours.

The I.A.A. continues to deploy a variety of tactics to annex privately owned Palestinian land on the hilltop of Hebron, including ignoring previous orders issued by the Israeli police to halt work.  Under the directive of Emmanuel Eisenberg, the I.A.A. project coordinator, the excavator bucket began carving deeper into Feryiel Abu Haikel’s land, breaking both Israeli and international law in the process.

In 1984, Jewish settlers first arrived on Tel Rumeida, the historical hilltop neighborhood of Hebron, which, according to some religious texts, is where Abraham first laid claim to land.  This historical interpretation provides impetus for the archeological digs designed to establish exclusive Jewish claims to the hilltop.  The Tel Rumeida settlement stands today on concrete pylons built directly on a previous archeological dig.  The establishment of this settlement marked the genesis of the heightened tensions that would continually boil over and spill onto the Abu Haikel’s land year after year.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli Antiquities Authority destroys more Abu Haikel Land, despite order to halt work

The Israeli Antiquities Authority’s continued illegal excavations on the Abu Haikel land has led to further destruction of the family’s property.  On Monday 26 May 2014, a bulldozer driver working on the excavation site undermined the foundation of Abu Haikels’ retaining wall—the second time this month the excavators have damaged the wall.

The Abu Haikel family called the Hebron police department, reporting the damage the excavations were doing on their land, but the authorities failed to appear at the scene of the crime.

This destruction is not an isolated incident, but rather represents a prolonged campaign by lead archeologist Emmanuel Eisenberg and the Israeli Antiquities Authority to establish a “biblical museum” on the areas surrounding the Abu Haikel land.

Last week, the Abu Haikel family had reported the previous destruction of private property.  The authorities showed up and issued orders for Eisenberg to halt work until the survey lines clearly demarcating the boundaries of plot 54 and 53 had been drawn, which has not happened yet.