HEBRON UPDATE: December 6-13, 2002

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CPTnet

December 19, 2002

HEBRON UPDATE: December 6-13, 2002

Friday, December 6

Curfew

CPTers LeAnne Clausen, JoAnne Lingle, Kristin

Anderson, Mary Yoder, and

Kathie Uhler met with families facing home demolition

who live in the Mosque Quarter, offering a presence in

their homes if the demolitions became imminent. They

conveyed to the families that Israeli peace activists

were also willing to help.

Saturday, December 7

Curfew

CPTers Anne Montgomery and Clausen visited families

along the road to Kiryat Arba settlement, including

the Jaberi Quarter and Wadi Nasara above the new

Israeli settlement. They observed a new road extending

from the main gate of Kiryat Arba to the police

station (two other roads for this purpose already

exist), the widening of Worshipers Way–the path

between Kiryat Arba and the Tomb of the Patriarchs and

Matriarchs–near the new settlement, and a road serving

as a shortcut from Kiryat Arba to the new settlement.

A friend of the team living in this area said that 25

additional homes were threatened, including those

lining the paved road to the new settlement.

Montgomery and Clausen documented information on the

new road leading to the police station. A family

nearby reported that the road was bulldozed during the

two days before Shabbat (Sabbath), cutting through an

olive tree orchard and uprooting close to 15-20 olive

trees. Settlers were already walking up and down the

road, throwing stones and garbage at their houses and

harassing them. Israeli police presence on the road

only deterred the settlers somewhat. Twenty-five

people within three generations of an extended family

live in houses along the road.

The CPTers also met a woman who said the land taken to

build this road was her father’s orchard. When the

family complained, soldiers insisted the land belonged

to someone living in Jerusalem who had been notified

in advance. The team learned from a human rights

worker that this has been a tactic used by the Israeli

military several times in the recent months.

Families along the Kiryat Arba Road reported damage by

settlers following the November 15 ambush (see CPTnet

release “Fifteen Killed, More Wounded in Hebron

Shooting Attack.”) Two Palestinian families had their

water tanks pulled off the roof and destroyed. Another

family showed CPTers the bullet hole in their front

shutters.

In the valley just above the new settlement, a woman

showed them her burnt house, saying that settlers came

at 1 am the previous night and threw a torch into the

home. The room where she and her five children were

sleeping was blackened with soot. From her house they

could see settlers trying to enter the shop

immediately next to the new settlement. The settlers

punched holes in the concrete blocks, pried the

windows from the door, and sprayed graffiti on the

walls facing the houses some time earlier.

The CPTers also met a man who owns three houses along

the paved road. He is not sure if his houses are

endangered since he has not received demolition

papers.

Another man, whose family lives in the valley just

above the

settlement, reported that settlers stoned out a large

bay window of their home directly overlooking the

settlement. The family put wooden crates in the window

for protection. The settlement cuts off the family’s

driveway and front entrance to the home as well as the

children’s safe passage to their schools in the

Tariqibn Ziad area.

Several families reported a lack of food and medicine.

The team made

referrals to the Red Cross and Doctors Without

Borders.

Sunday, December 8

Curfew

At 8 am, Clausen, Anderson, Yoder, Rick Polhamus, and

a friend from the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee

walked through the Old City to see the area near Atta

Jaber’s house. They were investigating rumors that

some of the homes in the area were issued demolition

orders. The CPTers could not find the people they

wanted to speak with. As they returned to the Kiryat

Arba area, they observed Israelis dumping fill dirt

near the back gate of Kiryat Arba, using a bulldozer

and backhoe.

The team received a report from an Israeli journalist

that the Israeli High Court had issued an injunction

on the home demolition orders until December 18.

At 11:30 am, Polhamus and Greg Rollins observed that

tear gas had been fired into an area where

Palestinians were trying to open stores. The soldiers

left the area after firing the tear gas.

At 4 pm, Yoder, Uhler, and John Lynes walked to the

Kiryat Arba entrance. They met a family trapped

between the Kiryat Arba entrance road and the

settlement. The family stated that it is difficult to

get food, even when there is no curfew, because they

are afraid of settlers on the road who shoot at them.

The expanding settlement and roads now circle their

houses.

Monday, December 9

Curfew

Montgomery visited a home in the Beqa’a Valley. She

reported that settlers were bulldozing two roads on

the hill near Atta’s house, 200 meters to the left and

right. Settlers had also cordoned off 100 dunums (one

dunum is 1,000 square meters) at the top of the ridge.

The roads will completely surround his house. Clausen

updated the Israeli Committee Against House

Demolitions (ICAHD) and Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR)

about the situation.

An Israeli activist called and updated the team about

numerous Israeli NGO’s that are organizing against the

home demolitions and settlement expansion in Hebron.

At the Beit Romano junction, Lingle observed a Red

Cross jeep stopped at a barricade. The worker got out

and asked a soldier to remove the barricade so she

could return to her office. He refused, saying that it

was against his commander’s orders. Lingle stated,

“You can remove it. She just wants to go to her

office. If you can’t because of your orders, I can do

it for you.” The soldier removed the barricade.

Tuesday, December 10

Curfew

Anderson, Lingle, and Lynes visited the Hebron

Municipality. Municipal representatives discussed

difficulties facing city workers and the provision of

services because of Israeli military control. CPTers

agreed to notify the municipality if there were any

new developments in settlement building or home

demolitions.

Wednesday, December 11

Curfew

Anderson, Lynes, Polhamus, and Rollins responded to a

call from the

headmaster at Maarief boy’s school. He reported that

soldiers were surrounding the school grounds. CPTers

oversaw the release of the boys and spoke with border

police, negotiating time for the boys to safely return

home. The headmaster at Khadijah girls school

indicated that this is only the 2nd day school has

been open since November 15.

Rollins and Anderson observed four soldiers imposing

curfew and closing shops near Bab iZaweyya. Again,

people heard conflicting times when curfew was to be

lifted. A shopkeeper was detained for three to four

hours while trying to open his shop. It was very cold

and the man was wet with rain. CPTers gave him a rain

poncho.

A close friend of the team had a miscarriage, which

she attributed to

extreme stress from settler harassment. She was one

month pregnant. For the past week, settlers have been

building roads on the family property that completely

encircle the family house.

Thursday, December 12

Curfew

Lingle and Uhler gave a tour to six journalists from

the World Council of Churches (WCC). South Africa,

Germany, Geneva, and Canada were

represented. While in H1, a Palestinian journalist

told the group that

soldiers had entered a school at 7:30 am and beat the

headmaster.

Anderson and Yoder responded to a call from the

headmaster at Maarief boy’s school. Soldiers were at

the school, ending classes early with threats and tear

gas.

Yoder and Anderson visited with a family facing daily

harassment in the

area around the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.

The mother reported daily soldier incursions into

their home, physical abuse sustained by her husband,

late night house searches, the mother being held at

gunpoint, and strictly enforced curfew restrictions.

She indicated many of her neighbors had similar

stories of detainment, abuse, and threats.

Yoder and Anderson later observed six men being

detained at the Beit Romano checkpoint. Most had been

sitting in the cold for one and a half hours. CPTers

spoke at length with the soldiers concerning issues of

conflict, duty, rights, and hope.

CPTers witnessed flares in the vicinity of the Tomb of

the Patriarchs and then received word that two

Israelis were killed around 8:00 pm in that area. See

December 14 release titled “Two Soldiers Killed, Six

Palestinian Houses Demolished in Response.”

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