HEBRON UPDATE: 8-13 October 2007

26 October 2007
HEBRON UPDATE: 8-13 October 2007

Team members during this period included Jan Benvie, Christina Gibb, Jessica
Frederick, Donna Hicks, Sarah Shirk, Jonathan Stucky, Mary Wendeln, and Mary
Rose, a guest from New Zealand

Monday 8 October

Jessica Frederick, Jonathan Stucky, and Mary Wendeln, with guests Tim Froese
and Gordon Janzen, went on school patrol. While Frederick was walking
between the Gutnick and the Mosque checkpoints, a Palestinian teacher from
the Al Ibrahimiyye Boys School approached her. He told Frederick Israeli
soldiers detained him for fifteen or twenty minutes and questioned him
regarding his arrest record. Later that morning, Frederick observed the
Israeli Border Police searching a teacher's bag. The Border Police detained
him briefly.

Wendeln patrolled the area below Haret iJaber (Called "Worshippers' Way" by
the settlers) and the checkpoint nearby. She heard an Israeli soldier
telling the Palestinian school children they had to turn around and go
through the Yatta checkpoint. Wendeln told the soldier the children walk
this way every morning. Eventually, someone called the soldier over to the
checkpoint. Wendeln and the children proceeded to the schools. When she
returned, the soldier said, "I am sorry."

Jan Benvie, Janzen, and Froese observed soldiers at the Yatta Road
checkpoint searching school children's bags. Benvie spoke with a soldier and
showed him the legal letter from ACRI (Association for Civil Rights in
Israel) stating soldiers should not search children going to and from
school. Initially, the soldier ignored her and continued searching bags.
Then he made a telephone call and asked to see ACRI's letter. He read it
over and asked Benvie for a copy. Benvie obliged, but the soldiers continued
to search the children's bags. They also began searching men and women.
(For pictures of soldiers searching Palestinian women and children, visit

In the evening, Palestinian Muslims celebrated Lailat al Qadi ("Night of
Light"), commemorating Mohammed's night journey from Medina to Jerusalem.
Many Muslims spend the whole night praying in the mosque. Zleekha Muhtaseb
called CPT to inform them of tension at the Ibrahimi Mosque/Cave of
Machpelah complex. A Palestinian woman had misunderstood an Israeli Border
Police who told her she could not pass to go up to the mosque. The
Palestinian continued on, and the Border Police restrained her. When the
Palestinian woman struggled, Israeli authorities beat her with their batons.

The Red Crescent gave her First Aid, but moments later she lost
consciousness. The Israeli settlers' ambulance took her to a place the
Palestinian ambulance could reach, though her injuries were not serious. By
the time Gibb, Frederick, Rose, and Stucky arrived, tensions had eased, and
the CPTers returned home.

Tuesday 9 October Gibb and Frederick, with Hisham Sharabati, visited a
representative from Tariq Ibn Zahid Boys Secondary School. He told the
CPTers when the Ibrahimi Mosque/Cave of Machpelah complex gates are closed,
students must make an hour-long detour--as opposed to the regular ten-minute
walk. Sometimes soldiers search or detain the youth at checkpoints, and
occasionally soldiers detain teachers. Because of these difficulties, at
the end of the school about 300 of the 750 students continue attending

Wednesday 10 October

Frederick and Gibb observed the checkpoint near Haret iJaber. Two
Palestinian teachers arrived at the checkpoint on their way to the Al
Fayha'a Girls School. Border Police at the checkpoint refused to let them
pass, ordering them to go to the school a longer way. The Palestinian women
objected, but began to leave. An Israeli woman nearby argued with the
soldiers and grabbed one of the Palestinian women, urging them to go to
school on the main road. The soldiers and the Israeli woman shouted at and
pushed each other. Two more Border Police arrived. The Palestinian women
again attempted to leave the area, but the Israeli woman again dragged the
Palestinian woman further down the main road. Eventually, the situation
de-escalated, and the Border Police did not allow the Palestinian women to
continue walking on the main road. Frederick spoke with the soldiers, asking
them why they were not letting the teachers go through; she did not receive
a clear answer. (For pictures of this incident, visit
<http://www.cpt.org/gallery/ConflictNearSchool >)

Thursday 11 October

On school patrol, Frederick, Gibb, Rose, and Stucky observed soldiers search
two Palestinian children's backpacks. Gibb showed the soldiers ACRI's letter
(see 8 October entry.) At the Yatta Road checkpoint, Benvie and Hicks
observed soldiers searching children's bags and making them pass through
metal detectors. When Benvie showed a soldier ACRI's letter, he laughed and
continued searching bags. Fifteen minutes later, he offered Benvie and
Hicks a chair to sit on.

On the noon patrol, Frederick and Stucky observed soldiers holding large
groups of six to nine Palestinian men at the Mosque, Gutnick, and Haret
iJaber checkpoints and releasing them within twenty minutes. Israeli
soldiers did not allow two Palestinian women to walk on the main road near
Al Fayha'a School. When Frederick spoke with the soldiers, they told her
that the road, on which Palestinians can normally travel freely, was
temporarily closed to "Arabs." At the Mosque checkpoint, one of the
soldiers took an elderly Palestinian man's cane and teased him with it,
walking just quickly enough to keep it out of his reach.

Friday 12 October

Between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m., Benvie, Frederick, and Gibb went on patrol for
the Eid al Fitr prayers, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The
atmosphere was festive, despite the heavy military presence. In the
afternoon Benvie, Frederick, Hicks and Rose observed children enjoying rides
on a small Ferris Wheel and a merry-go-round. (For pictures of Eid
festivities, visit <http://www.cpt.org/gallery/Eid>)

An agitated young man came to the CPT apartment. With Muhtaseb translating,
Gibb and Sarah Shirk learned that soldiers saw his seven-year-old relative
playing with his toy gun in the street. After taking away his gun and
beating him, they entered