Archive - feb 15, 2008

HEBRON: Israeli military and police remain passive in the face of settler harassment of Palestinians and internationals

On Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 January 2008, a crowd of Israeli settlers invaded the yard area of a home near the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, on the outskirts of Hebron. The settlers threw stones at members of the Abu Siefen family, injuring several people.

IRAQ UPDATE: 21 January – 3 February 2008

21 January-3 February 2008
The team spent much time dealing with problems securing visas and NGO (Non-governmental organization) status in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) area of Iraq. Each time they went to the Asaish (security police) to pick up the promised signed papers, officials gave excuses as to why the papers were not ready. On 23 January an Asaish official told the team that he could not give them visa extensions to stay and work. He said the papers were in the hands of people “higher up,” i.e. “the Americans.” A top Asaish official did authorize residency officials to grant CPTers a one-month visa extension to secure NGO status.

On 29 January, a Residency official gave each team member one-month visa cards. He said, however, that he could not issue entry visa papers for the team’s support person, Doug Pritchard, to come in February. The following day, the same official told the team that someone higher up ordered him to take away their visa cards and tell team members they must buy plane tickets and leave in a week’s time. He said he was very sorry. “We know you are good people. The Kurdish people have nothing against you.” Many Kurdish officials made statements that identified “Americans,” as the source of these orders, yet none would identify the U.S. agency with which the Americans were affiliated. When team members asked an Asaish official who might be able to facilitate CPT’s getting NGO status, he responded, “You can’t get that high.”