11 May 2011
HEBRON/AL-KHALIL LETTER: An open letter to Bill Clinton from CPT in Hebron
8 May 2011
To: The Honorable William J. Clinton
55 West 125th Street
New York, N.Y. 10027
From: The Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron
Dear Mr. Clinton,
In 1997, USAID renovated Shuhada Street in Hebron and the water, sewage and electrical infrastructure of Hebron’s Old City. The U.S. undertook these renovations as part of the Oslo II Hebron Protocol with the stipulation that Shuhada Street, once the main thoroughfare in Hebron, would remain open to both Israeli and Palestinian traffic, and that Old City residents would have the same supply of water and electricity that the Israeli settlers in Hebron did.
Members of Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron were witnesses in 1997 to the attacks Israeli settlers made on the Palestinian laborers and USAID engineer David Muirhead. As you probably know, these attacks and Israeli-imposed curfews caused the renovations to end up costing U.S. taxpayers twice as much as projected. Shuhada Street has never fully reopened, and it has been years now since Palestinians have freely walked on it. The alley where our apartment has been since 1995 once teemed with commerce; now only our neighbor, a small shop selling pigeons, and we are left.
More urgently, the USAID water and electricity, which were supposed to serve both the Hebron settlers and the residents of the Old City, are no longer available to the Old City residents. Some of our neighbors recently went ten days without water that you guaranteed them when you supported the Hebron Protocol.
We know you must feel grieved that your attempts to promote peace between Palestinians and Israelis during your presidency have come to naught, and we know you care about Israeli security. But a very small positive action you could take is insisting that the Israeli government live up to its commitment to provide the same supply of electricity and water to Hebron’s Old City that it provides to the Hebron settlers. Doing so will not harm Israeli security and will make an enormous improvement in the lives of the struggling and impoverished Old City residents.
With hopes for peace and human rights,
Christian Peacemaker Teams-Hebron