Hebron Update: November 26-December 2, 2001

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CPTnet

December 21, 2001

Hebron Update: November 26-December 2, 2001

Monday, November 26. No curfew.

11th day of Ramadan.

Two Swedish women, part of the World Council of

Churches
team evaluating possibilities for an ecumenical

observer
presence in the West Bank, visited the team.

Members of the CPT delegation from the U.S. and Canada

visited Palestinian families in Beit Ummar, Al

Sendas, and the
Beqa’a Valley overnight. The families are matched

with North
American churches and groups through CPT’s Campaign

for
Secure Dwellings (CSD).

Tuesday, November 27. No curfew.

12th day of Ramadan.

Wednesday, November 28. No curfew.

13th day of Ramadan.

CPTers Benno Barg, Rick Polhamus and Greg Rollins

heard
explosions and left the apartment to investigate.

Several
Palestinian children were throwing stones at Israeli

soldiers
behind the Ibrahimi Mosque, and the soldiers had

responded
with percussion grenades.

Returning from Bethlehem, CPTer JoAnne Lingle

challenged
soldiers who asked for her passport at the Bethlehem

checkpoint, showing her CPT identification instead.

She
pointed out that passports should only be necessary

when
crossing recognized international borders. The

soldier
insisted on seeing her visa, and Lingle showed her

visa but not
her passport.

Thursday, November 29. No curfew.

 14th day of Ramadan.

CPTers Le Anne Clausen, Claire Evans and Polhamus

traveled
to Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, for a meeting. The

trip, which
takes about 30 minutes under normal circumstances,

took three
hours. Because of roadblocks, their taxi tried one

route after
another over back roads to get out of Hebron. Going

through an
orchard, the vehicle passed an Israeli army tank,

which shot a
canister of tear gas at it.

 Returning to Hebron in the evening, the taxi was

stopped at the
Arroub refugee camp, and passengers were ordered to

get out
and walk. However, in a few minutes the vehicle was

allowed to
continue, and picked up the passengers. At the

Halhoul
checkpoint, passengers were required to disembark once

again,
walk over a machsoum (roadblock of dirt and rocks),

and catch
another taxi to Hebron. As the passengers walked

toward the
machsoum, an Israeli soldier shot a percussion grenade

toward
them, but no one was hurt.

Reuben Penner, a member of the recent CPT delegation,

rejoined the team from Jerusalem. He reported that he

had to
walk from the checkpoint near Gush Etzion settlement

to
Halhoul (a distance of about 3 miles) because

Palestinian taxis
were not permitted on the main road.

On evening patrol, Penner, Polhamus and Rollins saw

Israeli
soldiers enter a Palestinian home in Hebron’s Old

City. When
the CPTers asked about the situation, soldiers

guarding the door
told them to leave the area. However, the three

chose to stay
until the soldiers came out of the house. When CPTers

asked the
residents what had happened, they were told that

soldiers often
do such random checks in peoples’ homes.

Friday, November 30. No curfew.

15th day of Ramadan.

CPTers Mary Lawrence and Lingle joined 40-50 Israelis

in
Jerusalem for a “Women in Black” peace vigil. The

group has
met every Friday since the first Intifada except for a

few weeks
in 1993. A counter-demonstration of about 15-20

Israelis was
held on the opposite side of the same square.

While shopping in the market near Bab iZawiye (in H1,

the
Palestinian Authority-controlled part of town) about

10:30 a.m.,
Evans and Polhamus saw Palestinian Authority riot

police
dragging away a man. The man and police were followed

by
about 50 other men. The CPTers questioned Palestinian
shopkeepers, who said the scuffle had to do with

orders to clear
produce vendors from the streets and in front of shops

in Bab
iZawiye. Many vendors had relocated into this area

when Israeli
settlers destroyed parts of the market in the H2

(Israeli
military-controlled) section of town after a settler

baby was
killed by a Palestinian in April 2001.

In the afternoon, Rollins observed clashes between

Palestinian
youth and Israeli military in the area of the market

between H1
and H2. He was joined later by Evans and Penner, who

saw an army jeep pull up, and a soldier get out and fire a

percussion
grenade away from them into the street that was

deserted except
for stones littering the pavement .

Sunday, December 2. No curfew.

17th day of Ramadan.

The team was shocked and dismayed when they woke to

news
that 10 Israelis had been killed the previous night

and some 180
injured by two suicide bombers and a car bomb in West

Jerusalem. Because of the subsequent closure imposed

on the
West Bank, most of the team was not able to attend

church in
Jerusalem.

About 1:30 p.m., the team learned of a bus bomb in

Haifa that
had killed thirteen Israelis. A Palestinian friend

met Clausen
and Rollins near the team apartment and said: ” I’m an

Arab but
this is disgusting. You want peace? You don’t do

this. You
make peace with your neighbors on the street because

the people
in the offices don’t care. This was a dirty thing to

do.”

Shortly after this exchange, eight to ten Israeli

settler women
and girls tried to enter the Palestinian market from

Shuhada
street near the CPT apartment. An equal number of

Israeli
soldiers prevented them from entering. Shortly

afterwards, some
soldiers suggested to shopkeepers that they close

their stores.

About 3 p.m., on their way to stay overnight with a

CSD family
in Beit Ummar, CPTers Anita Fast and Rollins were

stopped at
the Halhoul machsoum by Israeli soldiers. The

soldiers said no
one was allowed to leave Halhoul, and fired tear gas

at some
Palestinians who had gone around the machsoum another

way to
get to their village. When Rollins challenged their

actions, one
soldier replied, “We aren’t doing anything wrong. We

are good
soldiers.” After seeing Fast’s and Rollins’s CPT

identification,
they allowed them to pass on foot.

While on the road, the CPTers came across a

Palestinian
Hebron-Beit Ummar bus that had been stopped by an

Israeli
Army jeepload of soldiers. The soldiers had ordered

all the men
out of the bus and were checking their identification.

 Fast and
Rollins stood among them watching and taking photos.

Within a
few minutes the soldiers allowed the bus to continue.

Rollins
and Fast got into the crowded bus and road the rest of

the way to
Beit Ummar.

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