HEBRON UPDATE: December 3-9, 2001

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CPTnet

December 24, 2001

HEBRON UPDATE: December 3-9, 2001

Monday, December 3. No curfew.

18th day of Ramadan.

CPTers Anita Fast and Greg Rollins spent the previous night in

Beit Ummar with a family who is part of CPT’s Campaign for

Secure Dwellings (CSD). Returning to Hebron, they reported

that no cars with Palestinian (green) license plates were allowed

on Route 60, the main road to the village. Their taxi driver took

back roads through four surrounding villages before connecting

with the main road.

CPTers Claire Evans and Mary Lawrence broke the daily

Ramadan fast with a family in Hebron’s Old City. While

watching TV news reports, they learned that Israeli military had

attacked Arafat’s heliport in Gaza.

Tuesday, December 4. No curfew.

19th day of Ramadan.

Shortly after 7 p.m., Israeli soldiers closed the exits of the

market area in the Israeli-controlled section of Hebron’s Old

City (H2), leaving dozens of Palestinians stranded in the pouring

rain. The soldiers told CPTers that they were looking for a

Palestinian boy who had reportedly thrown a firecracker at the

Avraham Avinu settlement. After about twenty minutes, the

people were allowed to go to their homes.

Wednesday, December 5. No curfew.

20th day of Ramadan.

In response to the previous weekend’s suicide and car bombings

in Jerusalem and Haifa, and the Israeli military attacks against

Gaza and four West Bank cities, CPTers held a one-hour prayer

vigil on the street corner outside their apartment.

The CPTers sat on both sides of a barrier that divides the

Palestinian market from Shuhada Street (used mostly by settlers and

soldiers) under banners reading “Praying for the Peace of the

Cities.”

Fliers explaining the vigil in Arabic or English were handed to

Palestinians, soldiers and settlers who were passing by. Many

responded favorably. (See releases “Praying for the

Peace of the City,” and “Out of the Depths.” Photos available at

clubphoto.com, album: “01-12-05 Praying for Peace”; sign in as

guest: cptheb01@yahoo.com).

Thursday, December 6. No curfew.

21st day of Ramadan.

 From noon to 1 p.m., CPTers again vigiled for the Peace of the

Cities on the corner by their apartment. Two young settler men,

who had been earlier escorted out of the market by Israeli

soldiers, approached CPTer Le Anne Clausen, expressing an

interest in the fliers she was handing out. When one of them ran

off with her bag of fliers, Israeli soldiers pursued

him.

The man then ripped up the fliers and scattered them on the

ground. The soldiers apologized to Clausen. CPTer Rick

Polhamus responded, “That’s ok. We know not all Israelis are like that.”

Campaign for Secure Dwellings partner Atta Jabber stopped by

the CPT office to call the police and notify the team

that settlers were stoning his father’s house in the Beqa’a

Valley. He did not request CPT presence at the house.

While escorting a foreign journalist on visits in the H2 area,

Rollins noticed an Israeli military bulldozer placing large

concrete blocks on the street near Beit Romano

settlement.

At 3:30 p.m., Evans and Fast accompanied a relative of a

Palestinian friend who had requested their help in retrieving his

luggage from a taxi that was prohibited from entering the city of

Hebron at the Beit Hanoun checkpoint, despite its Israeli

(yellow) license plates. The luggage had been lost in

transit as the Palestinian man flew home from a conference in

Washington, D.C. The CPTers crossed the checkpoint on foot

and successfully retrieved the suitcase.

CPTers Lawrence and JoAnne Lingle traveled to Beit Ummar to

break the daily Ramadan fast and spend the night with a

Palestinian family. The trip that would normally take about

fifteen minutes took one hour, because the taxi was forced to use

back roads. A visitor told the two about an agricultural

cooperative being organized in Beit Ummar.

Friday, December 7. No curfew.

 22nd day of Ramadan.

The team vigiled again on the corner of Shuhada street and the

chicken market under the “Praying for the Peace of the Cities”

banners, which now proclaimed its message in Hebrew and

Arabic as well as English. Immediately after the vigil, soldiers

closed all entrances to the Old City, saying that a “suspect” had

been seen inside. The area was reopened in about 20 minutes.

When Lawrence went at 5:30 to retrieve the banners, the one

facing Shuhada Street was missing. While she was taking

down the other, young settler boys began throwing stones at her.

Saturday, December 8. No curfew.

23rd day of Ramadan.

Several members of the team went to Jerusalem, all meeting

various difficulties with travel. Polhamus reported that the taxi

he was in took one hour to find a way to the main road, Route

60, which normally takes about ten minutes.

Sunday, December 9. Curfew called at 3 p.m.

 24th day of Ramadan.

After church services in Jerusalem, six CPTers and two friends

vigiled for an hour on a busy street corner between East and

West Jerusalem, displaying the “Praying for the Peace of the

Cities” banner. Many passers-by responded favorably,

including a Palestinian who said “You have changed my

mind about Americans; I didn’t know any Americans felt this

way.” Three Christians from Argentina joined the group in

prayer.

Curfew was called in H2 just before 3 p.m. CPTers patrolled the

market area while shopkeepers were closing up and the streets

were emptying. Soldiers had no clear explanation as to why

curfew had been called. The team learned later that an Israeli

settler was wounded by a bullet fired from the Palestinian

neighborhood of Hart iSheik at a Jewish funeral procession early

in the afternoon.

Beginning around 7 p.m., the streets of the Hebron’s Old City

were filled with settlers celebrating the start of Hanukkah.

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