Archive - 2008

agosto 19th

BEIT UMMAR: New stop-work/demolition orders issued in Beit Ummar.

The Israeli military issued five stop-work orders and two demolition orders on 5 August to Palestinians in Beit Ummar, a village north of Hebron. 

agosto 16th

HEBRON DISTRICT: Palestinian Authority raids charities, arrests employees

Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron calls on individuals and organizations to contact the Palestinian Prime Minister's Office following recent Palestinian Authority (PA) arrests and raids on charities in the West Bank.

agosto 15th

HEBRON: Delegation meets with Breaking the Silence

Our CPT delegation met Michael, one of the former Israeli soldiers now active in the "Breaking the Silence" organization.  Originally American, he immigrated to Jerusalem in his early years.  For people like him, he said, the State of Israel was "a sort of miracle."  Joining the Israeli military was like joining a good college in America­the key to advancement and an enjoyable social life.  He did well in the military and quickly rose to the rank of Lieutenant General.

"Breaking the Silence" started in 2004 as an exhibition with photographs and stories from disillusioned military personnel who had served in Hebron.  Michael happened to see it in Tel Aviv and now works full time as one of Breaking the Silence's main representatives.  His military background helps in getting an audience, and he spends most of his time talking to young people before their military service.

The organization seeks to educate Israelis who "have no clue," according to Michael.  Most Israelis, he said, seem to be in a sort of self-induced slumber as to the realities of occupation.  They lazily believe that some form of equality and dignity is possible despite the occupation, a formula Michael passionately rejects.

Originally "Breaking the Silence" would take tourists to Hebron, but settlers attacked them and the police eventually kicked out.  Now they take three or four people if they go at all, because such low numbers do not officially constitute a "group."  

agosto 14th


During the month of July, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) documented seven violent attacks on Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills by Israeli settlers living in the area.*  Four of these attacks were on Palestinian children traveling on their way to or from summer camp.  Despite violence, verbal threats, and Israeli settlers chasing them off their land, Palestinian shepherds continued to graze their flocks on their land during the month of July.  Also, Palestinian children from the villages of Tuba and Maghaer Al Abeed continued to attend summer camp in Tuba, in spite of violent attacks, and the Israeli military's regular refusal to escort the children safely to camp.  In response to the settler's violence, the village of At-Tuwani organized a nonviolent march to raise awareness of the violence children face on their journey to and from school and of continued settlement expansion in the area [See 4 August 2008 CPTnet release, "AT-TUWANI: March from At-Tuwani to Tuba a success."]

IRAQ: Supporting our sisters

Despite repeatedly calling for an end to violence against women, the young men continued to dominate the conversation.  Nearly every time one of the two women spoke, one of the men cut her off.  The men in this CPT training group of seven were saying all the right things, but they were more interested in speaking than in hearing about the oppression experienced by their sisters.  At one point, when I asked the group what men could do to support women, the men competed with each other to analyze the problem.  Even when I redirected the question to the older of the two women, a hesitant party-affiliated activist, she seemed unwilling to answer directly.  Her response, however, showed that her uncertainty was more a matter of inability than unwillingness.  "How can I trust any man in my culture?" she demanded, "I can not.  We women have all been betrayed by every man in our society." 

agosto 13th

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: Announcing and denouncing

Knowing the reality of the armed conflict through first hand accounts, through the stories of people who have lived through massacres and displacement, is very different from knowing the conflict through secondary sources.  For so many of us, the Magdalena River is simply the source of great fish.  What we too often fail to realize is that for those who live within its reach, the Magdalena River can mean both life and death.   With this in mind and to finish our time together, on 16 June 2008 our delegation held a time of public prayer.  Through a Ritual of Purification of the River, we chose both to announce and denounce what we had heard and seen in order to clamour for a time when the waters of the river, too often marked with sickness and death, will instead flow with hope. 



Pray for the Palestinian farmers and shepherds of the south Hebron hills as they deal with a serious drought, restrictions by the Israeli military on their procuring water, and repeated attacks by Israeli settlers.

Doug Pritchard
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Chicago, USA

agosto 12th

AT-TUWANI REFLECTION: Dreaming of paradise

"I had a dream last night," Shaadi told my teammates and me while we sat munching sliced tomatoes and olives one hot afternoon. Shaadi told us that in his dream he had climbed to the top of one of the pine trees at the edge of Havat Ma'on, an Israeli settlement outpost. Below him, Shaadi could see Israeli settlers stealing the fodder that he uses to feed his sheep.

HEBRON: Violence Increases in Wadi Nasara

Settler attacks in Wadi Nasara, a neighborhood bordered by Kiryat Arba and a "settlers only" road, have increased recently, with at least six attacks reported in the first ten days of August.

agosto 11th

IRAQ UPDATE: 18-31 July 2008


Wednesday, 23 July

The team spent a second day in the Rania-Zharawa area. Anita Davis and Gish met with a group of about twelve children (ages five-eighteen), who talked about the difficulties of living in the IDP camp and said they wanted the bombing to stop so they could return to their villages. After they each drew a picture of what they saw during the bombing of their village, most of them described their pictures and talked about their fears (see 5 August CPTnet release, "Through the children’s eyes," During the visit, a twenty-year-old woman, Gulala, who had lost her arm two years ago when her six-year-old brother accidentally shot her, joined the group.  She said, "Our hope is in returning to our village. There is no life here."