Hebron Update: May 1-May 15, 2001

May 22, 2001
Hebron Update: May 1-May 15, 2001

Tuesday, May 1, 2001
Bob Holmes and a local journalist went to Tel Rumeida where they were told
that the day before settlers had stood in the middle of the street and shot
at the surrounding houses. During this shooting, Israeli soldiers did
nothing to intervene. An hour later an elderly Palestinian man on the same
street was beaten up by settler youths. Soldiers were there to witness it,
but again did nothing to intervene.

Thursday, May 3, 2001
Rick Polhamus visited the Ministry of Justice in Jerusalem to give
additional information about the complaint he filed against a border police
officer on April 4th. Dianne Roe and Greg Rollins spent the night in Beit
Ummar. At around 9:00 P.M. they heard machine gun fire down by Al-Arrub
refugee camp near Beit Ummar. The shooting lasted for half an hour. The
people of Beit Ummar informed Roe and Rollins that the shooting is a nightly

Saturday, May 5, 2001
While at the hospital with two Swedish journalists, Holmes saw the video
tape made by a third reporter who had been at the hospital the day before.
The tape showed a Palestinian who the day before had been cut with a knife
by a settler in Hebron, and had been brought into the hospital. Another man
was shot in the thigh with a rubber bullet during clashes. Settlers also
attacked a Palestinian bus, smashing all the windows and sending most of
the riders to the hospital to have the glass removed.

Later on while in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Abu Sneineh, Holmes and
the two Swedish journalists saw Palestinian police officers arrest a young
boy of about 14 while he was participating in a clash with Israeli soldiers.

Sunday, May 6, 2001
It was reported that the Israeli military had been given unlimited authority
by Sharon to enter areas under Palestinian Authority control.

Monday, May 7, 2001
Holmes and Anne Montgomery went to Beit Jala to talk with church people
who have been having a difficult time in their efforts to bring relief to
Palestinians whose homes have been shelled.

Anita Fast, JoAnne Lingle, and Rollins accompanied a local journalist up
Tel Rumeida to talk to a doctor who has experienced heavy harassment from
Israeli soldiers stationed on his rooftop. The doctor said the soldiers
their garbage in his back yard and on the steps, and they have poured urine
on his daughter and his family's clothes while hanging out to dry. On April
25, the doctor was attacked and beaten by the soldiers on his rooftop,
but the Israeli authorities refused to listen to his complaint. The team
also talked to a man who is 101 years old, blind, and is in desperate need
of a doctor,
but soldiers refuse to let a car enter the neighbourhood to pick him up.

Tuesday, May 8, 2001
At 4:00 A.M. seventeen shots were fired. All of them single shots, no
machine gun
fire. No curfew was called as a result of the shooting.

Wednesday, May 9, 2001
While giving a tour to some Canadian church delegates, Fast came across two
settler women (one with a young child in her arms) running around Gross
Square where Palestinian shop owners were rebuilding their stores after
they had been blown up on April 2nd. The women yelled at soldiers and
Palestinians, and the women threw rocks at Palestinians and kicked one man
as well. Soldiers tried to calm the women but were ignored. The women
suddenly stopped and ran back into the Abraham Avinu settlement. When Fast
and the delegation were about to resume their tour they were confronted by
a settler man who yelled at them, wanting to know where they had been during
the Holocaust. He questioned the right of Christians to tell Jewish people
what to do in their own land.

Jane Adas, Fast, Holmes, and Montgomery went to Beit Ummar to look at a
place to stay in the town, and spoke with the family in whose house they
would be staying. The family reported that the night before an Israeli
military jeep had driven through the town stones had been thrown at it. The
soldiers responded with tear gas, sending several boys to the hospital,
including their three-year-old son.

The Israeli high court in Jerusalem issued a stop work order on the settler
apartments under construction on top of Tel Rumeida. The settlers plan to
challenge this ruling.

Thursday, May 10, 2001
On a Campaign for Secure Dwellings (CSD) visit to a friend's home near the
Kiryat Arba settlement, Adas and Rick Carter learned that settlers opened
sewage pipes to flow into neighbouring Palestinian fields in an effort to
destroy their crops. In
addition to the crop damage, a large number of rats and mosquitoes have
been attracted to the area. Armed settlers also have driven up near
houses and park their cars with their lights off. Palestinians told the team
they believe this is an attempt to provoke reactions.

On a CSD visit in the Al Sendas region, Fast and Rollins learned from
friends that the local Palestinian school being built there was recently
issued another stop work order. Although it had been issued one before, work
had been resumed on it again a few months ago. After receiving the second
stop work
order, however, the community again decided to halt their work to avoid

Friday, May 11, 2001
On the way back from Baab iZawia, Rollins and a German journalist saw a 21
year-old man being carried away from clashes. Israeli soldiers had shot the
man with rubber bullets in the face and shoulder. The man was rushed to the
hospital where he was announced to be in good condition.

Adas, Holmes, and Lingle went to an action in Deir Istya near Nablus.
There, with one hundred Palestinians, and about twenty Israelis and
internationals, they took part in a peaceful march to a new settlement in
the area. Well before reaching the settlement, they were gassed heavily by
Israeli soldiers. The Palestinians then prayed where they had been stopped,
returned to their village. (See forthcoming release: "Palestinian Gas

Saturday, May 12, 2001
Adas and Rollins went to a celebration at Al-Arrub agricultural college in
memory of Ala Mafouz, the 14 year-old-boy who was shot in Beit Ummar on
April 14.

In the evening a friend of the team's called to say that settler youth had
just attacked a member of Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH)
by Abraham's tomb, and also attacked a 13 year-old Palestinian girl.

Sunday, May 13, 2001
Due to the recent home demolition orders handed out by the