PALESTINE: Newsletter: February 2016

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CPT Palestine Newsletter February 2016

Newsletter:
February 2016
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Settlers
Occupation of
Palestinians’ homes,
the Aftermath and
Netanyahu’s
Announcement

 

Settlers
Occupation of
Palestinians’ homes, the
Aftermath and
Netanyahu’s Announcement

 

At
2.30 on the 21st
January our neighbour,
Zleikha Muhtaseb, rushed
into our CPT base to
tell us that Israeli
settlers were forcibly
trying to break into two
Palestinian homes near
Abed’s shop just down
from the Ibrahimi mosque
in Hebron. We grabbed
our things and followed
her. The mosque
checkpoint was shut down
so we had to detour
through tunnels to
Zleikha’s brother’s home
which was situated right
between the two houses
under attack. On this
journey we travelled
through intense tear gas
and struggled to open
our steaming red eyes to
see where we were going,
but this was nothing
compared to the
situation in which we
found the Muhtaseb
family when we arrived
at their home.

The women and children
in the home took us to
the upper floor window
to look out on to the
street. There were about
80 Israeli settlers
milling around, going in
and out of the houses on
either side of us. They
were moving in with
large pieces of luggage,
domestic equipment,
grocery supplies and
even huge packs of
toilet paper. Standing
around with guns and
protecting them were
nearly as many Israeli
soldiers and Border
Police. Armoured
personnel carriers and
police jeeps served as
further protection. Did
they think that the
family in the Muhtaseb
home in the middle of
these homes were going
to resist and attack
them with wooden spoons
– all 3 women and 5
small children? There
were no other
Palestinians in the
immediate area as
checkpoints had been
shut down all around the
homes.

The only Palestinians in
the vicinity were on the
roofs of other homes
about 200 metres behind
the homes that were
being forcibly occupied.
Their defence of these
two Palestinian homes
was to throw stones, a
crime that can result in
20 years of
imprisonment, and to
wave a Palestinian flag
which is also illegal in
the old city of Hebron.
The Israeli response was
to tear gas them and to
aim loaded guns at them.

Read
the full article

here.

 

Conversations
with an Israeli
soldier.
(Photo here
for illustration
purposes only)
 

Conversations with
an Israeli soldier

 

He
asked – “Where do
you live?”
We replied – “The
old city.”
He asked – “I
mean, where are you
from?
We replied – “The
U.S.” and “Ireland”.

He was small, with a
tiny face and deep brown
eyes that twinkled in
the street lights at the
checkpoint.

He asked – “What
do you think of the
situation here?”
I replied –
“Will you arrest
me if I tell you
honestly?”
He replied – “No, I
won’t arrest you.”
I replied –
“Your presence here
with checkpoints is
humiliating the
Palestinians.”

His body language
intimated that I had a
point, and as his
partner attempted to try
to defend or to justify
the occupation with its
checkpoints, he gently
cut him off and said –

“From their perspective,
she has a point.”

After some more
conversation about the
occupation and Gaza and
Hamas and rockets coming
from Gaza into Israel
and Israeli settlers in
the West Bank and the
breaching of
international law we
said good-bye and
continued our journey
home.

We reflected on the
conversation as we
walked through the
tunnels of this ancient
beautiful city of Hebron
and we both thought
about how, if things
were different, it would
have been nice to sit
down over coffee and
have a conversation with
this young twinkly eyed
Israeli soldier. And we
wondered what would be
the reaction of his
comrades if he recounted
the conversation we had
back in military
barracks that night?
From reading
testimonials from ex
Israeli soldiers in the
Israeli organisation
called Breaking the
Silence here ,
our guess was that the
conversation would be
shut down very quickly.
These testimonials
are given to Breaking
the Silence by ex
soldiers who want to
talk about the
brutality of the
Israeli occupation in
the West Bank and the
Israeli military siege
and wars on Gaza.

And we wondered what
would be the reaction of
his comrades if he
recounted the
conversation we had back
in military barracks
that night? From
reading testimonials
from ex Israeli soldiers
in the Israeli
organisation called
Breaking the Silence
here
, our guess was that
the conversation would
be shut down very
quickly. These
testimonials are given
to Breaking the Silence
by ex soldiers who want
to talk about the
brutality of the Israeli
occupation in the West
Bank and the Israeli
military siege and wars
on Gaza.

Could it be possible
that this soldier could
be a new recruit for
Breaking the Silence in
a couple of years time?

 

SCHOOL
REPORT
SEPT 2015-JAN 2016

 

SCHOOL REPORT
SEPT 2015-JAN 2016

 

“The
daily walk to and from
school exposes many
Palestinian children
in these areas to
harassment and
violence from Israeli
settlers and
security forces… The
access regime applied
in the restricted areas
for the last decade has
turned the daily trip of
students and teachers to
and from school into a
long, dangerous and
unpredictable
journey. This has had a
negative impact not
only on the
psychological well-being
of those affected, but
also on the
educational achievements
of children.”
read more
here.

 

Settler
Aggression on Prayer
Road.

(Photo here for
illustration purposes
only)
 

Settler Aggression
on Prayer Road

At
the request of a family
who has been frequently
harassed by settlers
from the Israeli Jewish
settlement called Kiryat
Arba, CPTers Chris and
Gerry were patrolling
the Prayer Road and the
Palestinian neighborhood
adjacent to Kiryat Arba.
At around 11 p.m. a
group of 12-15 young
male settlers began
walking down the Prayer
Road singing loudly. One
of the settlers walked
out in front of the
group and began
following us, just a a
half and arm’s length
behind us. When we
turned around to calmly,
respectfully engage him
in conversation he
stopped and stared ahead
silently. He had his
jacket hood over his
head and his face was
covered with a scarf
from just below his nose
down to his jacket top.
No matter how we tried
to engage him he just
stared ahead, poker
faced. No emotion was
displayed by him,
nothing. It was a little
disconcerting to say the
least. His colleagues
were continuing their
journey down the hill
after us, still singing
loudly, and gaining
ground on us.

At the military post
where the Prayer Road
diverges we went left
and the settler went
right. As he moved to
about 3 metres from us
he shouted to us: “F**k
Jesus! I want to kill
all of you.”

When we were about 50
meters down the road the
larger group, having
reunited with the young
man that had accosted
us, began to come in our
direction again, at
which point a police
truck that had been
following steadily from
a distance pulled up
alongside the group.
CPTer Chris began to
film this scene. The
young settler who had
accosted the CPTers saw
Chris filming and began
running towards us
yelling – “No pictures!
No pictures!” He
demanded to see the
pictures Chris had taken
and to have them
deleted, but Chris had
taken a video, so, as
requested by the
settler, he was able to
show him that no photos
had been taken! At this
stage, the Israeli
police truck pulled
right up to us. CPTers
Chris and Gerry
explained that the
settler had threatened
them and the police
verbally intervened,
telling the CPTers that
they could continue on
and that the police
would keep an eye on the
settler. They then
escorted him down the
hill by driving the jeep
beside him. The CPTers
then continued on their
patrol without further
incident. As CPTers we
need to think about what
it means to be
‘protected’ by Israeli
forces?

 

Our mailing address is:
cptheb@cpt.org

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