al-Khalil (Hebron)

PALESTINE: Palestinians and Internationals harvest olives on Surif village land threatened with confiscation

On 18 October, the Hebron Defense Committee organized a community workday that celebrated the olive harvest and resisted the Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land belonging to the town of Surif in the Hebron District, which lies adjacent to the Separation Barrier/Apartheid Wall.

A month ago, Israeli authorities announced the confiscation of 4000 dunums [988 acres] around Surif.  The 18 October event gathered local and international activists in a show of solidarity with the Palestinian farmers and also provided labor to help the families with the olive picking.  Harvest time is now in full swing, and for Palestinian community members, the olive trees ‘symbolize life and existence’.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military arrests ten-year-old boy, detains two others

On 12 October 2014, Israeli soldiers threatened two Palestinian boys—ages six and thirteen—with arrest, charging them with throwing stones.

The Headmaster of Mutanabi School was able to convince the soldiers not to arrest the six and thirteen year old, telling the soldiers he would contact the DCO (The liaison between the Palestinian police and the Israeli military.

However, Israeli soldiers arrested a third boy, age ten, outside of his home as he was playing on his bike, put him in their military jeep and took him away.  The military later released him to the Palestinian Authority police and returned him to his parents.

An army commander recently threatened to close Mutanabi School if boys threw one more stone.

2014 10 12 Mutanabi 6 year boy detained (1024x738)2014 10 12 Mutanabi 13 year boy detained (1024x683)2014 10 12 Mutanabi 10 year boy arrested (1024x683)[1]
6 year old boy13 year old boy10 year old boy

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 9, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 9, 2014

Pray for the children of Hebron’s Old City who are subject to arbitrary arrest and detention without due process and since the start of the school year, have had more than 100 tear gas grenades fired at them.

Epixel* for Sunday, October 12, 2014

For You have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the
rainstorm and a shade from the heat. When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm
 
                                                                                                                                                             Isaiah 25:4

*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

 

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military locates and kills suspects in kidnappings and murders of three Israeli youth

 

 
 photo @alaaqawasmi

Early this morning, Tuesday, 23 September 2014, the Israeli military discovered the hiding place of and killed Amer Abu Aisha and Marwan Qawasmeh, the two suspects in the kidnapping and killing of the three Israeli settler youth in June.

The killing took place on the first floor of a wood factory in the Hai El Sharma neighborhood near Hebron University after a firefight.  The building has three floors:  the first is a wood factory; the second contains shops and the third is residential.  Due to the live ammunition, small bombs, and tear gas thrown into the building by the soldiers, a fire started, which burned one of the two suspects almost beyond recognition.  The blasts from the bombs, and the military tractor used to cave in the building also damaged adjoining homes and buildings.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: Peacemaking--a journey taken step by step

 Corey in Old CIty
  CPTer aspiring to be peacemaker while monitoring
 soldiers in Hebron's Old City.

I am an aspiring peacemaker.

I use the word “aspiring” because I have not yet fully embraced in thought and action the ideals of peacemaking that I find so compelling. Practicing it is a constant daily effort, a series of taking steps (sometimes forward, sometimes backward), falling, getting up, and trying again. Overall, I think I’ve taken more steps forward than backward, but my peacemaking journey is far from complete. It is a lifelong quest. 

Stepping into Conflict

I have been in many places where oppression is evident. It is in Palestine, however, where I have seen most clearly the systematic dehumanization of people by other people, in both subtle and obvious ways, every day, day after day.Watching interactions between Palestinians and Israelis has challenged me and my peacemaking ideals to the core. How do I express my anger in a way that doesn’t dehumanize those I accuse of dehumanizing others? How do I acknowledge the destructive forces of a system while acknowledging that the people who by choice or by birth are part of that system are children of God? How do I live in community with others during difficult circumstances?  

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Revenge devoid of purpose—punitive demolitions of Palestinian homes


 If Israel’s assault on Gaza this summer has been blind, primal violence on a macro scale, the demolition of three Palestinian apartment blocks in Hebron during the early hours of 18 August 2014—punitive retaliation against the suspected culprits in the kidnapping of three Israeli youth in June—represented pointless violence and suffering on a micro scale.  Yet that micro event, multiplied thousands of times over the days, weeks and years of occupation, adds up to what has been called “incremental genocide” in the sense of destroying a culture and its ability to survive.

Between 2001-2005, according to B’tselem figures, Israel demolished 664 Palestinian homes as forms of punishment.*  These demolitions displaced 4,182 innocent people, many of them neighbors of the suspect’s family, and occurred often on the basis of suspicion alone.

Hussam al-Qawasmi house (Photo: Yousef Natsheh)

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli Military displaces family, stones observers, shuts down Old City for midnight settler tour

In the first week of August, the Israeli military added to the normal hardships people who live in and around the area of Hebron’s Old City must endure.

On 1 August 2014, the Israeli military occupied the rooftop of the al-Rajabi house in Jebal Johar near the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba at approximately 6 p.m.  According witnesses, the Israeli soldiers left the rooftop at around 7:00 p.m. and fired five tear gas grenades into the home, setting the interior into flames.  The result was a total loss of the family’s personal items. 

 Seven Palestinians live in the home. Five children, four boys and girl are now homeless. 

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Settlers break into Palestinian shops

n 30 July 2014, Israelis entered into Palestinian shops in Hebron’s Old City near Beit Hadassah with industrial tools, using cutting blades and torches to open the doors, despite the presence of Israeli military security who were overlooking the shops.

Christian Peacemaker Teams and the International Solidarity Movement volunteers made several attempts to advise the Israeli military and police to intervene on the breaking and entering into the Palestinian shops. Despite showing the Israeli military video evidence of the account, the police failed to show up and intervene.

The following day, Israeli settler children during the afternoon threw rocks down from the Beit Hadassah settlement onto Palestinians walking on the street below the settlement. Later on that night, settlers again re-entered the property despite the Israeli military having designated the area a closed military zone for Israeli settlers and Palestinians alike.


Settler jumps on awning after throwing stones at Palestinians
and internationals

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: Gaza and the end of Ramadan in Hebron

 

 
 Israeli soldiers monitor Friday Ramadan Prayers

The streets of Hebron were unusually quiet on the 26th night of Ramadan.  These are the final days of holiest time of the year in Islam.  As we stood at the entrance to the Ibrahimi Mosque we noticed that the numbers of worshippers were significantly down from a year ago.  A year ago we also saw more venders selling falafels, pastries, corn, tea, coffee, juice, ice cream and kabobs.  A year ago so many people flowed through the streets of Hebron’s Old City to attend the Mosque services or to shop, that walking was difficult.

This year, perhaps out of fear, people were at home watching the news on TV.  (We heard that in Jerusalem there are fewer numbers also on the streets of and worshipping in the mosques this month.)  At Bab iZawya on this night, we found a small crowd of young and middle aged men who had showed up even though no demonstration had been called for that scheduled.  At 2:00 a.m., they were still standing around, looking as though they were waiting for something to happen.  Every now and then, a boy threw a stone and ducked for cover.

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.”