Hebron Update: January 27 - February 6, 2001

Hebron Update: January 27 - February 6, 2001
Saturday, January 27
A T.V. crew from the U.S. visited for the day to document the work of
CPT and the situation in Hebron. While Anita Fast stood with the
crew by the Hisbhe market, an Israeli settler youth, armed with an M-
16, walked towards them and made a sharp turn directly into the
bustling Palestinian vegetable market. As settlers are not allowed into
the Palestinian market, Fast immediately went in after him, followed by
the T.V. crew and a number of other journalists who were also in the
area. Fast stayed at a distance from the settler, who simply walked
straight through the market. On the other side of the market stalls he
went up to the back-entrance of the Avraham Avinu settlement and
began speaking with the soldiers stationed there. Shortly thereafter,
several of the soldiers left with him and went into Avraham Avinu,
and Fast approached the soldiers who remained:
Anita: "I thought that settlers were not allowed into the Palestinian
The soldiers shrugged and said nothing.
Anita: "I am extremely concerned about what just happened. He was
fully armed and that was a very provocative act. This is precisely how
things explode, and people get shot."
Soldier: "I can talk with him, but he won't listen."
Anita: "I realize there might not be much you can do now..."
Soldier2: "We can do something."
Anita: "I hope you can prevent settlers from doing such things,
because that act was like throwing a spark into a pile of dry wood. It
is just asking for trouble."

Later that day, Art Gish phoned from the Beqa'a and reported that
stones were thrown at the Jaber's home from settlers up on the
Harsina wall behind the house. Gish and Jowdi Jaber went with Israeli
police to file a complaint.
Monday, January 29
While on patrol, Bob Holmes saw some soldiers moving market stalls
further back into the alley-ways of the old city, away from the entrance
to Avraham Avinu. Big stone barricades where put up where market
stalls used to be.
In the evening, CPT received a call from a friend in Hebron that he had
heard that settlers were gathering on the road in front of the Jaber
home. Holmes called Gish in the Beqa'a, and Gish reported that he did
not see any settlers, but there were a number of soldiers and police on
the road, but it seemed as if many of them were leaving and there was
no cause for alarm.
Tuesday, January 30
In the early afternoon, Gish reported that there were about 100 settler
school children (ages 10-15) in the Beqa'a having a memorial service
for an Israeli settler who was killed the day before near the Israeli
settlement of Efrat. Palestinian traffic was stopped on the main road
for a short time, and when Gish tried to get close, he was stopped by
soldiers who warned that he might get hurt by stones thrown by the
settler youth.
Later, on patrol, Fast, Rebecca Johnson, and Art Arbour saw a settler
teenager spit behind a Palestinian woman as she passed. The settler
then cursed at the CPTers and called them Nazi's.
Jamey Bouwmeester traveled to Jericho and reported that the Israeli
military had bulldozed a deep ditch all the way around the entire city
of Jericho to prevent traffic from entering or leaving.
Wednesday, January 31
While Holmes was speaking with a tour group at the CPT apartment,
there was a loud explosion in the Hisbhe market, followed by an
announcement by the military of curfew being imposed. Fast, Holmes,
Johnson, Arbour, Gish, and Pierre Shantz went outside to see what
had happened. A line of soldiers were making sure shopkeepers along
Shuhada St. were closing up their shops, and Fast stayed with them to
observe the soldier's actions. The rest of the team went down to the
market and found out that the soldiers had exploded a plastic bag
which contained a homemade bomb, near the back entrance to
Avraham Avinu settlement. As a result, a curfew was imposed on the
market area.
In the evening, a journalist friend called to report that a settler from
Karme Tzur settlement had been killed while driving past Al Arub
refugee camp. Another car had overtaken his, and someone shot him
through the window.
Around midnight there was heavy gun-fire and four or five rocket
explosions into the Abu Sneineh neighborhood near the CPT
Thursday, February 1 - Curfew
While on afternoon patrol, Holmes and Shantz met a Palestinian
neighbor woman who was trying to get home with some groceries.
The soldiers would not let her enter her home because it was curfew
and she shouldn't have been outside. After half and hour of talking
with the soldiers, they finally allowed the woman to go home.
Friday, February 2
Curfew was lifted today, except for Shuhada street - the main street
through the old city. A tight closure on all the main roads leading in
and out of Hebron were re-bulldozed shut after several weeks of the
roads being relatively open.
On afternoon patrol, Holmes witnessed a bulldozer moving several
new cement barricades into the Palestinian Hisbhe market.
Saturday, February 3
Curfew was imposed and heavy shooting began at 4:45 pm and
continued every 10 minutes for an hour.
Sunday, February 4
Curfew was lifted in the morning, but after some shooting in the early
evening, was re-imposed.
Monday, February 5 - No curfew
Abdel Hadi Hantash from the Palestinian Land Defense Committee
came by the CPT apartment and reported that a number of smaller
settlements in the Hebron district have increased their home
construction over the past week.
There was heavy gunfire in the late afternoon, including tank fire, into
the Abu Sneineh neighborhood for about an hour. Curfew was
immediately re-imposed.
Tuesday, February 6 - Israeli Election Day - curfew
Bouwmeester reported that on his way home from Jerusalem, he
noticed that all the major roadblocks from Jerusalem to Hebron had
been made larger. Even side roads have been bulldozed shut.
At 12:00pm, Fast received a phone call from Palestinian journalist,
Kawther Salam, reporting that there were problems near the Hisbhe
market. Anne Montgomery, Fast, and Arbour joined a number of
foreign and local journalists on the street where a group of Israeli
settlers were gathered. A settler woman immediately approached the
CPTers and said "May God bless you! Hell awaits the sinners! You
are all going to hell!" Some young Palestinian boys were throwing
stones from a cemetery a long distance away, and six soldiers
crouched behind bl