HEBRON UPDATE: December 20-27

CPTnet
December 29, 2002
HEBRON UPDATE: December 20-27

Friday, December 20
Curfew

Due to heavy rains and a dirt/cement barrier the army
created at an entrance to the Old City, the souq
(market) became flooded. Drains were plugged and water
ran down from Bab iZaweyya neighborhood, past Beit
Romano settlement, and into the Old City. The water
backed up and flooded many stores and houses in the
Old City. CPTers Kristin Anderson and Greg Rollins
helped Palestinians wade through the water to pull up
the drains. They also helped Palestinians to sandbag
their doors and look for drains while battling rapid
currents.

Saturday, December 21
Curfew

Sunday, December 22
Curfew

A phone call at approximately 8:30 am informed CPTers
that Israel was demolishing the home of Atta Jaber's
brother, a long-standing friend of CPT. A second phone
call informed CPTers of yet another demolition in
process. The team then split into two groups.

The first group -- Rick Polhamus, Cathy Uhler, and John
Lynes -- went with Nayef Hashlamon, a Reuters photo
journalist. In Wadi Roos, an IDF (Israeli military)
"bagger" knocked down an unoccupied house. Due to
curfew, the owner, who lives near the Tomb of the
Patriarchs/Matriarchs, was unable to be present at the
demolition.

The second group -- JoAnne Lingle, Sue Rhodes, Kristin
Anderson, and Greg Rollins -- arrived at the Jaber
house. A bulldozer was in the process of destroying
the nearly complete house. Three soldiers were
physically aggressive with CPTers and pushed them to
the fringes of the property, where it was more
difficult to take pictures. Jeff Helper from ICAHD
(Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions),
extended family members, neighbors, and CPTers were
was present with the family.

The army departed quickly after bulldozing the house
and leaving behind a large area of concrete rubble.
Jaber stated that the Israeli District Coordinating
Office had been to the property four months prior and
reassured him that his home would not be demolished,
even though a stop work order had been issued. Jaber
then decided to finish the house he started building
two years ago on the property that was in his family
for generations.

Jaber stated that he was not permitted to gather his
belongings from the nearly completed house, thus
losing many items he had recently purchased. (See
December 23 "HEBRON URGENT ACTION: Stop Wave of Hebron
Demolitions" for more information.)

At the same time, the Israeli group Peace Now held a
rally at the Kiryat Arba settlement entrance. Several
hundred Israelis were present. Settlers held a
counter-demonstration but were separated by police.

Monday, December 23
Curfew lifted from 8 am to 12 pm

A human rights reporter informed CPTers that the
Israeli military destroyed a welding shop in Wadi
Roos, putting 10-15 people out of work and affecting
70 family members whom the workers supported. Also,
Israeli authorities destroyed terraces southeast of
Kiryat Arba.

CPTers Lynes, Rhodes, Rollins, and Anderson observed
the Israeli military imposing curfew beyond the new
barbed wire stretched across the entire Bab iZaweyya
area, approximately 1,000 meters from the border of H1
and H2.

Tuesday, December 24
Curfew

In the morning, Palestinian boys removed the barbed
wire in Bab iZaweyya. Soldiers came and replaced the
barbed wire. As they were replacing it, soldiers
detained an old Palestinian man who was standing by
watching. They took him to the Duboyya Street
checkpoint where CPTer Polhamus accompanied him. The
man had trouble breathing and was experiencing chest
pain. After 30 minutes, Polhamus convinced soldiers to
release him and accompanied the man to the hospital.

CPTers spent Christmas Eve in Bethlehem where they
took part in a peaceful vigil, organized by
Palestinian Christians, protesting the occupation.

Wednesday, December 25
Curfew lifted from 6 am to 12 pm

Palestinians called Anderson and Lingle to ask them to
investigate their shop near the Beit Romano
settlement. On arrival, CPTers noted a large hole in
the wall, leading to another wall. The hole had been
made from the parking lot of the Beit Romano
settlement.

Inside the shop, many vacant shelves indicated that
settlers who had broken into the shop stole
merchandise. Rhodes photographed the damage. At the
same time, a settler attempted to enter the shop
through the hole in the wall.

CPTers questioned the soldiers, whose post was
approximately 20 yards from the hole in the back of
the shop. The soldiers stated that they were
"watching" it.

Finally a soldier, who others said was the commander,
along with two other soldiers came and inspected the
shop and spoke with the Palestinians. The Palestinians
said they would cover the hole with metal.

CPTers returned from Bethlehem to find Israeli
soldiers installing a large iron gate in front of the
CPT apartment, which would block access to Shuhada
Street.

December 26, Thursday

Soldiers continued installation of the iron gate in
front of the CPT apartment. Nayef Hashlamon was taking
pictures and asked CPT for their presence. The
journalist showed the soldiers his international press
card but they became hostile and would not allow him
to take photos.

TIPH (Temporary International Presence in Hebron)
members and Israeli police arrived on the scene. The
soldiers continued their hostile behavior for two
hours, standing in groups and blocking any camera
shots from the journalist. A soldier on the
surrounding roof told Hashlamon and Lingle in Hebrew,
"I'm going to put a bullet in your head." A soldier
also told to Polhamus, "We're going to get you."
Polhamus replied, "Maybe you will but 10 others will
take my place."

Rhodes met a TIPH man in the Old City who inspected a
metal door that had become "electrified" with black
smoke and loud flashes. Presumably, this was caused
from the flooding when soldiers' actions plugged up
the vegetable market. Families living around the gate
are without electricity and in danger of
electrocution.

CPTers Lorne Friesen, Anderson, and Rhodes noted
concrete blocks in place of the new barbed wire in Bab
iZaweyya, blocking all traffic from entering that
area.

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