al-Khalil (Hebron)

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Clashes erupt on Prisoner’s Day

On Thursday, 17 April 2014, approximately 300 people gathered at the Al Manara area in H1 (under nominal Palestinian control) to stand in solidarity with the 5224 Palestinian prisoners now held in Israeli prisons.  All political parties participated in the gathering, and each in turn raised their concerns.  

Speeches included the issue of the promise by Israel, as a part of the peace agreement, to release 104 Palestinian prisoners, and the real concern that Israel is now stalling on that promise, using the prisoners as blackmail.  This nonviolent action ended with a musical quartet, consisting of oud, violin, drum, and a singer offering tribute to the Palestinians still held in prison.

Clashes erupted around 2:00 p.m. between the Israeli security forces and the Palestinians on the border of H1 and H2 and lasted until about 7:00 p.m.

The Israeli military dispersed the crowds with tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets, and in some places, live ammunition (which CPTers observed lying on the ground.)  Ambulances entered and exited frequently the H2 area of Hebron, which is out of the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.  

According to Ha’aretz newspaper, ten Palestinians sustained injuries from the clashes.






AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli settlers moving into Al-Rajabi house

 

 
 An Israeli human rights activist and observer protesting
the illegal confiscation of the Al Rajabi House. Pale-
stinians  face prolonged prison time, abuse, and torture
during an arrest. International workers face detention
and possible deportation.

On 11 April 2014, Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals convened at the Al-Rajabi building to protest the illegal expansion of Israeli settlements in Hebron near the settlement of Kiryat Arba. Human rights advocates have opposed the takeover of the Palestinian building, because it poses a grave impediment to the sovereignty of the Palestinian community of Hebron and presents obstacles to peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians.

The Palestinian community has been fighting the takeover through Israel’s legal system since 2007.

Early in March of 2007, Jewish settlers broke into the Al-Rajabi building and laid siege to the Palestinian property under the protection of the Israeli military. The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee and the Palestinian petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court and had the Israeli settlers evicted in 2008 until the ownership could be determined, during which time, the investigation revealed the documents of purchase were forged. The forgery was substantiated by the Criminal Investigation Laboratory of the Israeli Police, by the Israeli prosecution and by the Supreme Court.

Despite this proof,  on 11 March 2014, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the Israeli settlers should pay the Palestinian owner of the building the amount specified in the forged sale documents.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Settlers attempt construction of new access path at Tel Rumeida

Attempt by settlers to begin construction of walking path on Tel Rumeida.  The blue fence is on the
settlement, and the new stake on right is in a washed out area that would link the settler path to
an existing path along the outside of the fence surrounding the settler archaeological dig.

On 24 March 2014, settlers attempted to begin construction of a walking path outside the fenced “archaeological” dig near the Abu Haikal home on Tel Rumeida.  The settlers pounded in metal stakes in an area just below the fence erected by Israelis around what was once the orchard of the Abu Haikal family, and is now an archaeological site to which Palestinians, including Palestinian archaeological experts, are denied access.  The stakes are a first step in an apparent attempt to link the settlement of Tel Rumeida to the fenced area of the archaeological dig.

Palestinians living in the building adjacent to the land on which the settlers were trespassing called the police, who ordered the settlers to stop.  However, the following day, 25 March, soldiers arrived at the home of the Abu Haikal family and threatened them with arrest.

 Feryal Abu Haikal had just finished hosting a group of neighbors, along with the Palestinian Liaison Officer and an officer from the Hebron Governor’s office, when soldiers arrived at her home and began to dispute the ownership of some of the land on Tel Rumeida, showing her a map that contained false information.  The soldiers told Feryal Abu Haikal that no visitors are allowed on the land surrounding her home, and threatened to arrest and deport any internationals there, including members of the Abu Haikal family.

For background on the settler archaeological dig on Tel Rumeida click here 

To see a map of multiple land-grab efforts by settlers in Hebron click here.

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 26, 2013

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 26, 2013
Pray for the families living near buildings in Al-Khalil (Hebron) that Israeli settlers have targeted for takeover.  Settler occupation of these structures will lead to sharp increases in hardships and violence for the neighborhoods in which they are located.

Click here for interactive map showing properties at risk for settler takeover.

See also AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Settlers and soldiers invade Al-Atrash family home twice in one day.

*Epixel for March 30, 2014

Armed settler leaving the Al Atrash family home with soldiers, March 20, 2014.
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.  Ephesians 5:11
Photo by Raed Abu Rumaila
*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): Settlers and soldiers invade Al-Atrash family home twice in one day.

 




 Armed settler leaving the
Al Atrash family home with
soldiers, March 20, 2014. 
Photo by Raed Abu Rumaila

On 20 March 2014 at about 11:00 in the morning the Al Atrash family was hosting a group from FIDA (the Palestinian Democratic Union), who were visiting the neighborhood in solidarity with the families there, when eighteen Israeli soldiers and Border Police, accompanied by an armed settler kicked the unlocked door to announce their arrival.  The armed cohort then swarmed into the home without permission.  Only women of the family were home at the time, along with several small children.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) URGENT ACTION: Ask Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon to stop creation of new settlement in Hebron




Soldiers enter the Al Rajabi building,
20 March 2014

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon will decide by 11 April 2014 whether Israeli settlers may move into the Al Rajabi building in the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi Hussein.  If settlers take possession of the building, the impact of their presence and subsequent increased military presence will have severe humanitarian impacts for the surrounding Palestinian neighborhood.

Palestinian organizers working with the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee have asked that internationals contact the Israeli Defense Minister and their consulates and elected representatives, asking them to contact the office of the Defense Minister and state their objection to settler expansion into the Al Rajabi building on humanitarian grounds.

On the afternoon of 20 March 2014, about twenty soldiers arrived at the Al Rajabi house and moved luggage and food into the building, while a settler sat parked in a car in front of the building.  A neighbor two buildings away reported that on the previous day, he received a stop work order from soldiers for work he is doing to improve his house, and the owner of a nearby barbershop reported that during the night on the previous week settlers damaged the doors to his shop.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT introduces H-2 schoolchildren to the red hats


CPT has been visiting classrooms at schools within the H-2 area of Hebron in March, and introducing them to the work of CPT.   H-2 is the area of Hebron under full Israeli military control, and many of the children must walk through checkpoints to reach their schools.  They have also, in recent months had to face sound bombs and teargas during clashes at the checkpoints just before and after school

 CPTers let the children know why the people with red hats are at the checkpoints near their schools each morning, what they stand for, that they are there to help and that the children can trust CPTers will do their best to make sure the children will stay safe.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli soldiers invade Palestinian elementary school

 


On 4 March, approximately thirty Israeli soldiers entered the Qitoun neighborhood from Checkpoints 29 & 209, provoking stone throwing from schoolboys.  At one point, half the forces entered a Palestinian schoolyard and began using stun grenades and tear gas on local children and passersby.   Palestinian teachers prevented the soldiers from actually entering the school building.  Soldiers shot canisters in front of the school building and detained three boys under the age of twelve. They later released the boys because they had no pictures of them throwing stones on their cameras.

 CPTers have witnessed increasingly aggressive soldier behavior towards schoolchildren during morning school patrols at military checkpoints in the Old City of Hebron.  Qitoun neighborhood is home to five schools, including two military checkpoints.  On 6 March, CPTers had to carry kindergarteners out of range of the teargas that had incapacitated them.

These military interventions violate the Right to Education (Article 28) from the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  CPT records the number of students, teachers, and detentions near these checkpoints as children attempt to make their way to school safely.  CPT also documents physical threats, book bag searches, and tear gas use on children.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Palestinian property rights under attack; setters attempt multiple land-grabs in Hebron

The Al-Rajabi building.
Photo EAPPI

Settlers have won a victory in their ongoing attempt to grab land for a new settlement in Hebron.  On 11 March 2014 the Israeli Supreme Court agreed to hand over the Al-Rajabi building in the Old City of Hebron to settlers, despite the devastating humanitarian impacts of the decision on Palestinians living in the neighborhood.  The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) has appealed to the international community to speak out against this violation of Palestinian property rights, and to use all means available to prevent the creation of a new settlement in the Old City of Hebron.

Settlers claimed ownership of Al-Rajabi house on 19 September 2007, when a group of them stormed into the building in the middle of the night.  In November 2008, the court found that the settler’s purchase documents were forged and evicted them, placing the building under military control pending a final decision.  In reaction, Hebron settlers set fire to Palestinian homes, farms, olive trees, and vehicles in the area.  Six Palestinians were injured, two with live ammunition.  On 11 March 2014, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the Palestinian owner of the building must, against his will, accept payment from Israeli settlers of the amount specified in the forged sale documents.  

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): February ends with arrests of children in the Old City

On the evening of 28 February 2014, soldiers arrested eight Palestinians on Shalala Street—six of them appeared to be under sixteen, and two were clearly younger than twelve.  Soldiers took the boys into the military base at Bab el Baladiya at the entrance to the Old City and after approximately an hour, the soldiers took all them away in military jeeps.

The arrests bring the total of child arrests and detentions documented by internationals working in Hebron during the month of February to eighteen. This number by no means reflects the total number of arrests and detentions of Palestinian children by Israeli forces in the city.

Some of the detentions witnessed have been relatively brief, including incidents where soldiers took children from residential streets or the market, walked them some distance, compared them to photographs or interrogated them in the street, then released them. Sometimes soldiers take children into military bases or to military police stations and question them there. Sometimes they arrest them in their homes and sometimes they hold them overnight.