AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine March 2016 Newsletter


14 April 2015
AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine March 2016 Newsletter



Newsletter: March 2016
Restricting the Life out of Hebron’s Old City, The West Bank Teacher’ Strike, The Walk to School in Hebron, Colonization: Bridging Israel and America


Boys on their way home through Qitoun checkpoint


Restricting the Life out of Hebron’s Old City


Every year when I return to Hebron I have come to expect that I will find the Israeli Military Occupation more entrenched, the people more battered, more resigned. I expect that the Christian Peacemaker Team I have worked with since 1995 will have new challenges to meet. When I rejoined the team in early March, however, the extent of the restrictions on team’s monitoring work at checkpoints during school hours frankly shocked me. Border Police no longer permit us to exit the Old City near our apartment and make the five-minute walk to the Qitoun checkpoint to document how the soldiers treat schoolchildren and teachers passing through. Instead, we must take a fifteen-minute taxi ride over the hills and around to reach a location we can see from the roof of our house.

Read the full article here.


A mother walking her daughters home through Qitoun checkpoint


The West Bank Teachers’ Strike: Revolution in the Making?


On Saturday, 12 March 2016 after a one-month strike, the Palestinian teachers in the West Bank returned to work (and Christian Peacemaker Teams-Palestine resumed its school checkpoint accompaniment.) The teachers were striking for fairer wages and in general more respect by the Palestinian Authority (PA) officials. An enormous amount of money in the PA budget, much of it donated by foreign funders, goes to its security apparatus. Still more is lost to corruption and the inflated salaries of upper-echelon PA officials. The teachers were calling for their salaries to reflect the respect that other public sector employees receive.

Team members spoke to a tour guide in ‘Idna village about his opinion on the strike and he said he was calling it “a revolution.” If the strike had happened in any European country, he said. It would have brought down the government. When teachers planned to converge on Ramallah for a 7 March demonstration, PA officials warned bus companies they would lose their bus licenses if they chartered buses to teachers. Hebron friends reported to the team that PA police set up checkpoints on the day of the demonstration and checked buses and shared taxis for teachers on the day of the rally. CPT Palestine’s project support coordinator was in one of these taxis when she entered Ramallah and the police asked in any teachers were inside. The driver reported he could have been fined 500 shekels (129 U.S. dollars) if he had been transporting teachers. (Ten thousand teachers managed to make it into the capital by arriving the night before.)

Read the full article here. 


Kindergarten students CPTers walk to school


The Walk to School in Hebron


Imagine your children or grandchildren going off to kindergarten. Young, innocent, curious, proud to be “adults” going to school now. Not quite the same for kindergarten kids off to school in Hebron, Occupied West Bank, Palestine. 

In one neighborhood the kindergarten kids round the corner from the courtyard where their families live. Then, to go to school, they have to climb a rather steep hill. This hill has some features that you would consider “out of the ordinary”. 

There is a nice, hard-surface path that leads up the hill. On the right of this path is a low wall constructed of concrete barriers — somewhat like you might find separating the traffic lanes on an Interstate highway or autoroute — topped with a wire fence. The path becomes a kind of corridor, but it’s not the path for these kindergarten kids. They are Palestinian in occupied Palestine. Their path lies to the left of the barrier. It’s an eroded dirt path covered with rocks and debris — not so easy for little feet and short legs to navigate.

Read the full article here


Restriction of movement near the Ibrahimi mosque


Colonization: Bridging Israel and America


Stepping into Palestine has required that I engage who I am as a white American because the Israeli military occupation of Palestine and the unchecked land theft of the illegal Jewish settlers is above all else an act of colonization.  Palestine is an occupied land where generations of Palestinians have had their ancestral lands stolen, their homes destroyed, and where the future of their children is always in jeopardy.  When one escapes the loudspeaker of American media and escapes the propaganda tours of the Holy Land, one comes face to face with the reality that this conflict is at its simplest a massive land grab.  It is theft from one people for another people.  Israel is colonizing Palestine.

When you accept that Israel is colonizing Palestine, your eyes open and you see the conflict for what it truly is—an oppressed people resisting an oppressive people.  Israel employs so many tactics in its quest for land and the Palestinians, as a diverse culture with numerous peoples and perspectives on solutions, respond as occupied and colonized peoples have always responded.  They resist violently and nonviolently, they survive, they persevere, and they do their best to plan for a future and to undo the social ills that accompany the poverty that accompanies colonization.

Read the full post here



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