Applies to CPTnet releases from Palestine projects

HEBRON: Update on the Hebron orphanages

Two friends of CPT Hebron told team members on 13 October 2008 that the Palestinian Authority has replaced the board of directors of the Islamic Charitable Society (ICS)schools and orphanages.  The friends noted that  this new move means that the ICS schools and orphanages will likely continue to operate the rest of the school year.

HEBRON: Israeli settlers beat up Palestinian reporter during olive harvest, punch CPTer

On the morning of Saturday 18 October 2008, a group of four Israeli settlers beat up a Palestinian reporter, Abed Hashlamoun, in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron. He required hospital treatment for his injuries.

Hashlamoun had been photographing Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals harvesting olives together in an event organized by Tel Rumeida landowners. Hashlamoun was walking alone through the olive groves when 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 of the settlers seized Hashlamoun’s camera. CPTer Janet Benvie approached the settler and asked him to return the camera, but he did not respond. When Benvie took hold of the camera strap the young man punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground. He then hurled the camera into the rocky field below.

AT-TUWANI: Report, “Settler violence against Palestinian schoolchildren under Israeli military escort” now available

A new report by Christian Peacemaker Teams and Operation Dove about the Israeli military escort of Palestinian children to school in At-Tuwani during the 2007-2008 school year records a catalogue of violent settler attacks on the children and the Israeli military’s complacent attitude regarding these attacks.

AT-TUWANI: Israeli military escort fails again protect Palestinian children from settler attacks

Israeli settlers from the settlement of Ma’on in the South Hebron Hills attacked Palestinian children on their way home from school on Tuesday 14 October 2008.  The children were returning from school in the village of At-Tuwani to their homes in villages of Tuba and Maghaer al Abeed.  As the children passed beyond the boundary of the settlement, two adult Israeli settlers ambushed them, throwing stones at the children and chasing them towards Tuba.

HEBRON: CPT Hebron project to close after thirteen years.

CPT regretfully had to make the hard decision to close the Hebron team site.  We have been suffering with an inadequate number of full-time CPTers on this team for months.  Stretched thin, we covered the work of the Hebron team site with reservists until August, knowing that this option was not sustainable…

I would like for all of us to remember that we are Easter people and we open our vision to look outward toward new openings rather than narrowing our vision to see only closings, for the continuing work of God doesn't stop with a closure; it has no closure.  Only our human work comes to a close.

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: Summer camp and terrorism

The settlers stood some distance away, but continued to yell.  Although clearly petrified, the children told us they still wanted to walk to the camp–not by the shorter, direct route they take with the army, but a longer, slightly safer one.
As we made our way to at-Tuwani, two older boys ‘scouted’ ahead with me, telling me where we needed to be more cautious.  Jessica walked behind the children, still tightly knit in their family groups.  When the path forced us to pass within sight of the outpost, the children almost crawled along the ground, anxious not to be seen by the violent settlers living there.


Saturday, 9 August
To conclude the summer camp, at-Tuwani villagers held a festival and a press conference to spotlight settler violence in the area.  Tuba children could not attend because the army refused to escort them to at-Tuwani.  The children were afraid to walk alone because they saw settlers nearby.  The army and police stopped journalists and camera crews from attending the conference.  Barring everyone except local residents from entering, they remained in the village most of the day, and declared the surrounding area a “closed military zone.” 

Friday, 29 August
Israeli peace activists organized a trip for Palestinian children and a few of their parents to the Safari Zoo Center in Tel Aviv.  One parent later told CPTers that the children had become frightened in the zoo when they saw an Orthodox Jew wearing traditional clothing.  The parent explained to the man about where the children came from, and their experience with settlers.  The children then had a friendly conversation with the Jewish man's family.  The Palestinian parent was excited to realize that not all Israelis behave as the settlers do and that his children could meet Israelis without being afraid.

HEBRON UPDATE: 1-15 August 2008

Monday 11 August
Lynes led a group of tourists from Bethlehem to Tel Rumeida.  On their way back, all the visitors had to produce their passports at two checkpoints.

Lynes and a visiting Israeli student went to Wadi Nasara.  They observed that the two “outpost” tents had been removed.  Young settlers attacked them, hitting Lynes with two pellets from an air gun and head-butting the Israeli visitor repeatedly until he bled profusely from his mouth. 

Friday 15 August

Abuata, McNeill and a visitor went to Wadi Nasara at about 4:00 p.m.  They visited an old man and his son who lived across the road from where the settler youth had been camping out.  The old man said he felt helpless in the face of the settler violence and began crying.

After leaving the house, the three watched the road and the settler camp, where two teenage settlers were sitting.  Many Palestinians walked beside the road rather than on it because they were afraid of the settlers.  After about ten minutes, a third settler came down from Kiryat Arba and chased a group of children who were standing near Palestinian homes across the street.  When McNeill, Abuata and an intern approached to start filming, the two teenagers blocked their path and told them not to pass.  One tried to kick the camera out of McNeill’s hands, nearly hitting her face.  Abuata called the Kiryat Arba police, and after a couple of minutes all three settlers walked away.  New settler youth arrived at the camp; the police never came.

HEBRON: CPT Delegation visits al-'Arub Refugee Camp

On the third day of our Christian Peacemaker Teams  delegation to Israel and Palestine we met Rashid,* who took  us on a tour of the al-'Arub Refugee Camp near Hebron.   Then he brought us to his home outside the camp to have  lunch and spend time with his wife Nibaal and their four  children.  Gathered in their living room, we discussed  serious topics, but quickly turned our attention to the  two youngest children as they danced and played around us.

HEBRON: Israeli soldier beats Palestinian near Hebron checkpoint

On 14 August, an Israeli soldier beat a Palestinian man near the Yatta Road checkpoint in Hebron, sending him to the hospital with a gash in his forehead, eyewitnesses said.

For photographs of injured brothers see