|Tear gas in Baab-i-Zawwiyye|
10 September 2013
AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Clashes erupt in Hebron at end of August
On the morning of Monday, 26 August Israeli
soldiers raided the Qalandia refugee camp to make an arrest. As the soldiers moved through the camp,
crowds gathered, and protests, which included stone-throwing, began. In response, the Israeli military killed
three Palestinians and injured fifteen. The events in Qalandia created waves of protest throughout
the West Bank. That afternoon
clashes erupted in Hebron.
Crowds of men and boys had gathered near a checkpoint in H1 (the
part of Hebron under nominal Palestinian control). When CPTers arrived,
the crowds had begun throwing stones. Israeli soldiers were on roofs.
A few blocks from the checkpoint (still in H1, where according
to the Hebron protocols, Israeli soldiers are not allowed to be), soldiers had
set off sound bombs. As CPTers approached, the soldiers were retreating
back towards the checkpoint; while most of the soldiers seemed relatively calm,
one soldier was clearly agitated and momentarily focused his anger on CPTers
before they retreated.
As clashes escalated, taxis and collective taxis left the
area, some businesses closed, vendors packed up their carts and rolled them
away, and the number of women and young children in the streets dwindled.
Stones and firecrackers flew. Soldiers periodically came into the streets, shot sound bombs
or tear gas near the protesters, and retreated. Protesters burned boxes
in the streets, then tires. Later,
some of the protesters brought water tanks into the streets to form a
In the early evening, the streets began to clear. Remaining protesters continued to burn
things in the streets. They moved
the water tanks into a pyramid formation. Soldiers continued to shoot
sound bombs and tear gas, but finally the clashes stopped for the night.
On Tuesday afternoon, clashes recommenced. Stone
throwing began in H1 and within one minute of the first air-born stone, a sound
bomb went off. This time
Palestinian police in riot gear and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials
intervened. With their presence in
the streets, the crowd moved into H2, where the PA is not allowed.
On Wednesday afternoon without provocation, Israeli soldiers
set off a sound bomb in H1. PA authorities were again present there. Clashes again erupted, but only in H2,
and were less volatile than the previous days. When the stone throwing began, some soldiers came out into
the streets. CPTers observed the
back and forth of stones and sound bombs for several hours. No tear gas
was used when CPTers watched, but when they patrolled later in the evening, the
street was littered with used sound bombs and tear-gas grenades and the gas
lingering in the air stung eyes and noses.
Thursday saw a break in clashes, but on Friday, clashes
erupted again in H2. No clashes have occurred since Friday, 30 August.