HEBRON: Israel fences in Wadi el-Ghroos, site of first home demolition CPT witnessed; soldier assaults children

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CPTnet
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September 12, 2003
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HEBRON: Israel fences in Wadi el-Ghroos, site of first home demolition CPT
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witnessed; soldier assaults children
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<P>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Two new roads and an enormous fence now separate about 100 acres of
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vineyards from their Wadi el-Ghroos owners and connect four buildings to the
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Kiryat Arba settlement. The fence, about two meters high with razor wire at
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the top, resembles the fencing used in northern parts of the West Bank for
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the &quot;Apartheid Wall,&quot; as Palestinians and progressive Israelis refer to it.
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When the wall eventually reaches the Hebron district, the Israeli government
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plans to use it to connect Kiryat Arba to settlements inside the city of
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Hebron.
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<P>Some landowners in Wadi el-Ghoos reportedly did not know about the
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confiscation their land until the Israeli authorities installed the fence.
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They therefore had no time no time to contest the confiscation in Israeli
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courts.
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<P>About one hundred and twenty Palestinian families live in Wadi el Ghoos.
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Fifty-two homes there have demolition orders.
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<P>The Israeli army demolished two Wadi el-Ghroos homes during the first
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Intifada. They demolished two more in February 1996. CPTers Anne
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Montgomery, Dianne Roe, Kathleen Kern and Bob Naiman tried unsuccessfully to
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prevent the demolition of one of the homes by climbing on its roof--an
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action that eventually led to the establishment of CPT's Campaign for Secure
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Dwellings and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. In March
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1997, CPTers helped one of those two families involved rebuild. The Israeli
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police arrested CPTer Cliff Kindy, Rabbi for Human Rights' Arik Asherman,
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and two Palestinians for clearing away rubble. On April 4, 2001, the
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Israeli military demolished five more structures in the area.
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<P>Two tiny settlements straddle the main road of the valley. Part of that
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land belongs to the descendants of Sheikh Mohammed Ali al-Ja'abari, Hebron's
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mayor in the period before 1967. The family sued in 1995 and won their land
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rights in an Israeli court--an unusual victory for Palestinian landowners.
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They contacted the military about the settlement buildings on their land and
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asked to purchase them, but the military never answered them.
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<P>In the summer of 1997, Israeli settlers moved into the buildings on the
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right side of the road in the middle of the night. A little while later,
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the army took over the buildings on the left side of the road for a military
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camp.
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<P>The checkpoint at the Israeli army camp on the main road considerably
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restricts traffic in the valley. An Israeli soldier assaulted two young
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boys September 4, 2003 who were walking past the camp to school. Putting
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his hands on either side of the eight-year-old's face, he lifted him in the
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air and slammed him to the ground. The soldier then knocked the
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six-year-old boy down and kicked him, according to the boys' father. When
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the police asked the soldier why he had done it, he reportedly said, &quot;They
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will grow up to be terrorists, so it's better if we kill them now, while
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they're small.&quot; The two boys are the sons of a family whose home the
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Israeli military demolished in 1996.
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