AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine December 2016 Newsletter–Old City Voices, UNICEF visit and more…


CPT Palestine Newsletter – December 2016


Old City Voices: Jamal

“We live in a prison. We can’t move freely. There are checkpoints everywhere, and you never know if you will be allowed to pass, or if you will be stopped, IDed and searched. This can happen even on the street or on the sidewalk. How can we expect customers to come to our shops?”

Jamal is a shopkeeper in the Old City of Hebron. He sells shawls, handwoven Bedouin rugs, fancy dresses with hand embroidery, handbags made by village women and other textile items from the region. He had a thriving business in the hustle and bustle of the Old City market until the 1st Intifada in the early 1990s. After that business declined modestly until the 2nd Intifada in 2000. Then his business crashed and has yet to recover.

In the “old days”, when his father and grandfather were merchants in the Old City, people came from all over the West Bank to Hebron… Read more


Dreading the holidays in Hebron

We stopped by a shopkeeper friend in the Old City recently for tea.  She had just had a bad experience on the holiday the Israeli settlers celebrate here in Hebron commemorating Abraham’s purchase of Sarah’s burial place.  Hundreds of settlers had come through the market and invaded the shops.  One had stolen a piece of merchandise  (she sells embroidered goods and scarves) from her shop and when her assistant had tried to wrestle the piece of fabric from the settler’s hands, an Israeli soldier had grabbed it out of the assistant’s hands and given it to the settler.

I asked her whether Chanukah was a holiday during which settlers tended to cause problems for people in the Old City.  “There’s another holiday coming?” she asked… Read more


UNICEF visit to Tel-Rumeida

[Please see Azeeza’s reflection as a Palestinian woman walking down Shuhada Street with UNICEF]

On December 21st the director of UNICEF, Mr. Geert Cappelaere, and six other local staff visited Al Khalil. The purpose of their visit was to visit Qurtuba School on Shuhada St., which runs past Beit Hadassah where some of Hebron’s most violent Israeli ‘settlers’ live. They also arranged to meet the CPT Palestine team, which monitors how many children from seven schools pass through the checkpoints, and EAPPI, which is responsible for monitoring the two checkpoints that the children of Qurtuba school must pass to go school. As three of us in CPT-Palestine, including our Palestinian teammate and two members of the EAPPI team waited in the cold outside checkpoint 56 for UNICEF to arrive, we discussed what we would do if Israeli soldiers denied any of us entry through the checkpoint. Since late 2015, only people on a military list of approved people are allowed to pass… Read more


Happy New Year from Hebron!

For Christmas eve the team took the day off and spent the  evening in Bethlehem with a few of our local friends from Hebron. We had dinner outside looking onto Manager Square where the Christmas tree, lights and performances were taking place. We shared shisha, hot chocolates and listened to carols in Manager Square. It was a lovely night and special to spend it together as a team.

We were back in Hebron on Christmas Day. We had an open house and cooked a meal for our friends. We had a lovely afternoon cooking as a team and sharing a meal together. It was nice to be able to host people who have shown us unending hospitality! Read more


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