December 19, 2002
HEBRON UPDATE: December 6-13, 2002
Friday, December 6
CPTers LeAnne Clausen, JoAnne Lingle, Kristin
Anderson, Mary Yoder, and
Kathie Uhler met with families facing home demolition
who live in the Mosque Quarter, offering a presence in
their homes if the demolitions became imminent. They
conveyed to the families that Israeli peace activists
were also willing to help.
Saturday, December 7
CPTers Anne Montgomery and Clausen visited families
along the road to Kiryat Arba settlement, including
the Jaberi Quarter and Wadi Nasara above the new
Israeli settlement. They observed a new road extending
from the main gate of Kiryat Arba to the police
station (two other roads for this purpose already
exist), the widening of Worshipers Way--the path
between Kiryat Arba and the Tomb of the Patriarchs and
Matriarchs--near the new settlement, and a road serving
as a shortcut from Kiryat Arba to the new settlement.
A friend of the team living in this area said that 25
additional homes were threatened, including those
lining the paved road to the new settlement.
Montgomery and Clausen documented information on the
new road leading to the police station. A family
nearby reported that the road was bulldozed during the
two days before Shabbat (Sabbath), cutting through an
olive tree orchard and uprooting close to 15-20 olive
trees. Settlers were already walking up and down the
road, throwing stones and garbage at their houses and
harassing them. Israeli police presence on the road
only deterred the settlers somewhat. Twenty-five
people within three generations of an extended family
live in houses along the road.
The CPTers also met a woman who said the land taken to
build this road was her father's orchard. When the
family complained, soldiers insisted the land belonged
to someone living in Jerusalem who had been notified
in advance. The team learned from a human rights
worker that this has been a tactic used by the Israeli
military several times in the recent months.
Families along the Kiryat Arba Road reported damage by
settlers following the November 15 ambush (see CPTnet
release "Fifteen Killed, More Wounded in Hebron
Shooting Attack.") Two Palestinian families had their
water tanks pulled off the roof and destroyed. Another
family showed CPTers the bullet hole in their front
In the valley just above the new settlement, a woman
showed them her burnt house, saying that settlers came
at 1 am the previous night and threw a torch into the
home. The room where she and her five children were
sleeping was blackened with soot. From her house they
could see settlers trying to enter the shop
immediately next to the new settlement. The settlers
punched holes in the concrete blocks, pried the
windows from the door, and sprayed graffiti on the
walls facing the houses some time earlier.
The CPTers also met a man who owns three houses along
the paved road. He is not sure if his houses are
endangered since he has not received demolition
Another man, whose family lives in the valley just
settlement, reported that settlers stoned out a large
bay window of their home directly overlooking the
settlement. The family put wooden crates in the window
for protection. The settlement cuts off the family's
driveway and front entrance to the home as well as the
children's safe passage to their schools in the
Tariqibn Ziad area.
Several families reported a lack of food and medicine.
The team made
referrals to the Red Cross and Doctors Without
Sunday, December 8
At 8 am, Clausen, Anderson, Yoder, Rick Polhamus, and
a friend from the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee
walked through the Old City to see the area near Atta
Jaber's house. They were investigating rumors that
some of the homes in the area were issued demolition
orders. The CPTers could not find the people they
wanted to speak with. As they returned to the Kiryat
Arba area, they observed Israelis dumping fill dirt
near the back gate of Kiryat Arba, using a bulldozer
The team received a report from an Israeli journalist
that the Israeli High Court had issued an injunction
on the home demolition orders until December 18.
At 11:30 am, Polhamus and Greg Rollins observed that
tear gas had been fired into an area where
Palestinians were trying to open stores. The soldiers
left the area after firing the tear gas.
At 4 pm, Yoder, Uhler, and John Lynes walked to the
Kiryat Arba entrance. They met a family trapped
between the Kiryat Arba entrance road and the
settlement. The family stated that it is difficult to
get food, even when there is no curfew, because they
are afraid of settlers on the road who shoot at them.
The expanding settlement and roads now circle their
Monday, December 9
Montgomery visited a home in the Beqa'a Valley. She
reported that settlers were bulldozing two roads on
the hill near Atta's house, 200 meters to the left and
right. Settlers had also cordoned off 100 dunums (one
dunum is 1,000 square meters) at the top of the ridge.
The roads will completely surround his house. Clausen
updated the Israeli Committee Against House
Demolitions (ICAHD) and Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR)
about the situation.
An Israeli activist called and updated the team about
numerous Israeli NGO's that are organizing against the
home demolitions and settlement expansion in Hebron.
At the Beit Romano junction, Lingle observed a Red
Cross jeep stopped at a barricade. The worker got out
and asked a soldier to remove the barricade so she
could return to her office. He refused, saying that it
was against his commander's orders. Lingle stated,
"You can remove it. She just wants to go to her
office. If you can't because of your orders, I can do
it for you." The soldier removed the barricade.
Tuesday, December 10
Anderson, Lingle, and Lynes visited the Hebron
Municipality. Municipal representatives discussed
difficulties facing city workers and the provision of
services because of Israeli military control. CPTers
agreed to notify the municipality if there were any
new developments in settlement building or home
Wednesday, December 11
Anderson, Lynes, Polhamus, and Rollins responded to a
call from the
headmaster at Maarief boy's school. He reported that
soldiers were surrounding the school grounds. CPTers
oversaw the release of the boys and spoke with border
police, negotiating time for the boys to safely return
home. The headmaster at Khadijah girls school
indicated that this is only the 2nd day school has
been open since November 15.
Rollins and Anderson observed four soldiers imposing
curfew and closing shops near Bab iZaweyya. Again,
people heard conflicting times when curfew was to be
lifted. A shopkeeper was detained for three to four
hours while trying to open his shop. It was very cold
and the man was wet with rain. CPTers gave him a rain
A close friend of the team had a miscarriage, which
she attributed to
extreme stress from settler harassment. She was one
month pregnant. For the past week, settlers have been
building roads on the family property that completely
encircle the family house.
Thursday, December 12
Lingle and Uhler gave a tour to six journalists from
the World Council of Churches (WCC). South Africa,
Germany, Geneva, and Canada were
represented. While in H1, a Palestinian journalist
told the group that
soldiers had entered a school at 7:30 am and beat the
Anderson and Yoder responded to a call from the
headmaster at Maarief boy's school. Soldiers were at
the school, ending classes early with threats and tear
Yoder and Anderson visited with a family facing daily
harassment in the
area around the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs.
The mother reported daily soldier incursions into
their home, physical abuse sustained by her husband,
late night house searches, the mother being held at
gunpoint, and strictly enforced curfew restrictions.
She indicated many of her neighbors had similar
stories of detainment, abuse, and threats.
Yoder and Anderson later observed six men being
detained at the Beit Romano checkpoint. Most had been
sitting in the cold for one and a half hours. CPTers
spoke at length with the soldiers concerning issues of
conflict, duty, rights, and hope.
CPTers witnessed flares in the vicinity of the Tomb of
the Patriarchs and then received word that two
Israelis were killed around 8:00 pm in that area. See
December 14 release titled "Two Soldiers Killed, Six
Palestinian Houses Demolished in Response."