December 4, 2001
Hebron Update: November 19-25, 2001
Monday, November 19. No curfew. 4th day of Ramadan.
CPT Hebron hosted a Swedish visitor, Kari Berg, who is part of a team
evaluating the possibilities of having an ecumenical observer presence in
the West Bank through the auspices of the World Council of Churches.
Tuesday, November 20. No curfew. 5th day of Ramadan.
CPTers Le Anne Clausen and Claire Evans and Berg went to Tel Rumeida where
Palestinian families have reported harassment from Israeli settlers living
in caravans (mobile homes) next to their property. The three saw evidence
of recent activity in the first floor apartment of a house whose owners fled
to H1 (the
Palestinian-controlled area of Hebron) last summer. An
elderly widow lives in the upper apartment.
Clausen noted that since her last visit to the house about a week earlier,
large pieces of furniture had been smashed. The floor was strewn with
clothes, torn books and broken dishes and there was a smell of urine. The
Palestinian family had recently installed a security door and fence to
prevent access to the upper apartment.
The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported on November 19 that
Israeli Prime Minister Sharon has ordered the resumption of construction on
12 permanent housing units for the Israeli settlement on Tel Rumeida.
Wednesday, November 21. No curfew. 6th day of Ramadan.
Representatives of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG)
visited the team and encouraged CPT to raise awareness of their Settler
Watch Hotline. The project is an attempt to bring to justice settlers who
have committed crimes against Palestinians. Israeli authorities have on
numerous occasions allowed the settlers to act with impunity.
Saturday, November 24. No curfew. 9th day of Ramadan.
7:30 a.m. Clausen and Evans went to Tel Rumeida to investigate a report
that appeared in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz Thursday, November 22.
Yarden Vatikay, an adviser to Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer
was quoted as saying, “The tiny Tel Romeida [sic] enclave is under fire
almost every night from a nearby Palestinian neighborhood. The houses have
so many holes in them they look like strainers.”
The CPTers noted that all the homes had sandbags stacked against the lower
part of the outside walls. A few sandbags were broken, but when they looked
at all sides of the homes in question, Clausen and Evans could discern only
one hole, possibly caused by a bullet, in the tin roof overhang of one
caravan. They saw no evidence of bullet holes in any of the walls of the
caravans. The two Israeli soldiers stationed near the settlement told the
CPTers they had been posted in Hebron only recently, but they also had no
knowledge of bullet damage to the settlers’ homes there.
About 12:30p.m., CPTers Anita Fast and Benno Barg, along with several CPT
delegation members who had arrived in Hebron two days earlier, went up to
Tel Rumeida to visit a Palestinian family
whose home is near the Israeli caravan settlement. While looking at an
archeological dig, the CPTers were approached by a group of settler boys,
aged about 6 to 11, who began throwing stones at them.
Fast notified Israeli soldiers at the nearby military post, who spoke to the
boys and tried to usher them away; however, the settler children continued
throwing stones and eggs. One of them grabbed the eyeglasses off the face
of delegate Bill Rose and made a move to stomp on them. Several delegates
were hit by stones or eggs. An adult male settler approached the group and
told the boys to stop throwing stones. After meeting with the Palestinian
family, the delegation members climbed down the hill at the back of the
house since settler boys were still gathered at the front, and returned to
the CPT apartment.
Sunday, November 25. No curfew. 10th day of Ramadan.
The team heard sporadic machine-gun fire from the southwest of Hebron, 7-9
p.m. Clausen and Rollins saw tracer bullets being fired from behind Tel
Rumeida, and planes circling above. Newspapers the following day reported
that at 6:30 p.m. a roadside bomb had targeted a convoy of Israeli military
vehicles south of the city.