Hebron: Settlers Beat Palestinian Reporter, Punch CPTer During Olive Harvest

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The Fall Signs of the Times reported the
closure of CPT’s Hebron Project site. A few of the updates from
CPT personnel tasked with tying loose ends and exploring options for
future work are included in this issue.

On Saturday 18 October, four Israeli settlers
beat a Palestinian journalist in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron. 
His injuries required hospital treatment.

Abed Hashlamoun, a photographer for the
European Pressphoto Agency, had been photographing Palestinians,
Israelis, and internationals harvesting olives together in an event
organized by Tel Rumeida landowners.  As Hashlamoun walked alone
through the olive groves, the group of male settlers knocked him to
the ground and began beating and kicking him.

Several of the olive pickers heard his cries
and ran to help him.  One settler seized Hashlamoun’s camera. 
CPTer Janet Benvie approached him and asked him to return it; he did
not respond.  When Benvie grasped the camera strap the young man
punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground, then hurled the
camera into the rocky field below.

The settlers were still nearby when Israeli
soldiers arrived.  “I repeatedly asked the soldiers to detain
the men who attacked us, but instead they permitted the attackers to
leave the scene,” said Benvie.

The Israeli military declared the area a closed
military zone, ordered an end to the olive picking, and required the
Israeli and international olive pickers to leave the area.

Hashlamoun was taken to hospital for treatment
and released shortly after.  Benvie sustained a cut and bruising
to her face, but did not require medical treatment.

The attack came two days after the Israeli
Supreme Court ordered the eviction of settlers from a four-story
building in Hebron. (The eviction was carried out 4 Dec.)

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