HEBRON UPDATE: December 20-27



December 29, 2002

HEBRON UPDATE: December 20-27

Friday, December 20


Due to heavy rains and a dirt/cement barrier the army

created at an entrance to the Old City, the souq

(market) became flooded. Drains were plugged and water

ran down from Bab iZaweyya neighborhood, past Beit

Romano settlement, and into the Old City. The water

backed up and flooded many stores and houses in the

Old City. CPTers Kristin Anderson and Greg Rollins

helped Palestinians wade through the water to pull up

the drains. They also helped Palestinians to sandbag

their doors and look for drains while battling rapid


Saturday, December 21


Sunday, December 22


A phone call at approximately 8:30 am informed CPTers

that Israel was demolishing the home of Atta Jaber’s

brother, a long-standing friend of CPT. A second phone

call informed CPTers of yet another demolition in

process. The team then split into two groups.

The first group — Rick Polhamus, Cathy Uhler, and John

Lynes — went with Nayef Hashlamon, a Reuters photo

journalist. In Wadi Roos, an IDF (Israeli military)

“bagger” knocked down an unoccupied house. Due to

curfew, the owner, who lives near the Tomb of the

Patriarchs/Matriarchs, was unable to be present at the


The second group — JoAnne Lingle, Sue Rhodes, Kristin

Anderson, and Greg Rollins — arrived at the Jaber

house. A bulldozer was in the process of destroying

the nearly complete house. Three soldiers were

physically aggressive with CPTers and pushed them to

the fringes of the property, where it was more

difficult to take pictures. Jeff Helper from ICAHD

(Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions),

extended family members, neighbors, and CPTers were

was present with the family.

The army departed quickly after bulldozing the house

and leaving behind a large area of concrete rubble.

Jaber stated that the Israeli District Coordinating

Office had been to the property four months prior and

reassured him that his home would not be demolished,

even though a stop work order had been issued. Jaber

then decided to finish the house he started building

two years ago on the property that was in his family

for generations.

Jaber stated that he was not permitted to gather his

belongings from the nearly completed house, thus

losing many items he had recently purchased. (See

December 23 “HEBRON URGENT ACTION: Stop Wave of Hebron

Demolitions” for more information.)

At the same time, the Israeli group Peace Now held a

rally at the Kiryat Arba settlement entrance. Several

hundred Israelis were present. Settlers held a

counter-demonstration but were separated by police.

Monday, December 23

Curfew lifted from 8 am to 12 pm

A human rights reporter informed CPTers that the

Israeli military destroyed a welding shop in Wadi

Roos, putting 10-15 people out of work and affecting

70 family members whom the workers supported. Also,

Israeli authorities destroyed terraces southeast of

Kiryat Arba.

CPTers Lynes, Rhodes, Rollins, and Anderson observed

the Israeli military imposing curfew beyond the new

barbed wire stretched across the entire Bab iZaweyya

area, approximately 1,000 meters from the border of H1

and H2.

Tuesday, December 24


In the morning, Palestinian boys removed the barbed

wire in Bab iZaweyya. Soldiers came and replaced the

barbed wire. As they were replacing it, soldiers

detained an old Palestinian man who was standing by

watching. They took him to the Duboyya Street

checkpoint where CPTer Polhamus accompanied him. The

man had trouble breathing and was experiencing chest

pain. After 30 minutes, Polhamus convinced soldiers to

release him and accompanied the man to the hospital.

CPTers spent Christmas Eve in Bethlehem where they

took part in a peaceful vigil, organized by

Palestinian Christians, protesting the occupation.

Wednesday, December 25

Curfew lifted from 6 am to 12 pm

Palestinians called Anderson and Lingle to ask them to

investigate their shop near the Beit Romano

settlement. On arrival, CPTers noted a large hole in

the wall, leading to another wall. The hole had been

made from the parking lot of the Beit Romano


Inside the shop, many vacant shelves indicated that

settlers who had broken into the shop stole

merchandise. Rhodes photographed the damage. At the

same time, a settler attempted to enter the shop

through the hole in the wall.

CPTers questioned the soldiers, whose post was

approximately 20 yards from the hole in the back of

the shop. The soldiers stated that they were

“watching” it.

Finally a soldier, who others said was the commander,

along with two other soldiers came and inspected the

shop and spoke with the Palestinians. The Palestinians

said they would cover the hole with metal.

CPTers returned from Bethlehem to find Israeli

soldiers installing a large iron gate in front of the

CPT apartment, which would block access to Shuhada


December 26, Thursday

Soldiers continued installation of the iron gate in

front of the CPT apartment. Nayef Hashlamon was taking

pictures and asked CPT for their presence. The

journalist showed the soldiers his international press

card but they became hostile and would not allow him

to take photos.

TIPH (Temporary International Presence in Hebron)

members and Israeli police arrived on the scene. The

soldiers continued their hostile behavior for two

hours, standing in groups and blocking any camera

shots from the journalist. A soldier on the

surrounding roof told Hashlamon and Lingle in Hebrew,

“I’m going to put a bullet in your head.” A soldier

also told to Polhamus, “We’re going to get you.”

Polhamus replied, “Maybe you will but 10 others will

take my place.”

Rhodes met a TIPH man in the Old City who inspected a

metal door that had become “electrified” with black

smoke and loud flashes. Presumably, this was caused

from the flooding when soldiers’ actions plugged up

the vegetable market. Families living around the gate

are without electricity and in danger of


CPTers Lorne Friesen, Anderson, and Rhodes noted

concrete blocks in place of the new barbed wire in Bab

iZaweyya, blocking all traffic from entering that



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