HEBRON UPDATE: 13-19 January 2006

1 February 2006

HEBRON UPDATE: 13-19 January 2006

Team members during the period included Art Gish, Bob Gross, Tracy Hughes,
Bourke Kennedy, Jerry Levin, John Lynes, Sarah MacDonald, Grace Pleiman,
Dianne Roe and Kathie Uhler.

Friday 13 January

Soldiers refused to let CPTers enter Shuhada Street through Gate 5, close to
the Israeli settlement of Avraham Avinu, so two successive groups from CPT
entered Shuhada Street from other directions, returning home through Gate 5.

Saturday 14 January

A large CPT Shabbat (Sabbath) patrol along a route the settlers call
Worshippers' Way, split into two parts at the summit, one group going toward
the valley, the other to the main entrance to Kiryat Arba, a large Israeli

Tracy Hughes and an intern accompanied Palestinians as aggressive Israeli
settlers paraded in Shuhada Street. Some of the settlers tried to enter
Gate 5 and also the chicken market, through a hole in the inner fence. The
Israeli army prevented them from doing so

Sunday 15 January

15th January was the date by which the Israeli High Court had directed
Israeli squatters to evacuate the Hebron wholesale vegetable market. They
had failed to do so, and many Israeli settler sympathizers had come to
Hebron to support their defiance. Some Israelis threw rocks at passersby
from the rooftop of the Avraham Avinu settlement. Others lit fires in front
of shops in the old vegetable market. Israeli police and soldiers soon
restored order, blocking the stairs up to the Qurtuba Palestinian Girls
School and stopping traffic along Duboyya Street and through the Beit Romano

Monday 16 January

Hanan Ashrawi, a prominent woman candidate in the forthcoming Palestinian
election, walked through the souq (market.) John Lynes followed a crowd of
her supporters through the mosque turnstile in the hope of photographing
her. When she spotted his red CPT cap she went up to him, shook his hand,
and said, "I am so grateful for all the good work that the Christian
Peacemaker Team is doing." Lynes replied, "We have been able to do very
little. We do what we can." She replied, "If we do our best, that is all
we can do."

Bourke Kennedy and Hughes joined other internationals in patrols on Shuhada
Street and Tel Rumeida. The extra assistance was needed because of worries
of settler violence during the memorial service of Yossi Shok, an Israeli
settler who died in recent months. After accompanying several Palestinians
down Shuhada Street, an Israeli police patrol confronted the internationals
ordering them to move back through the Duboyya Street checkpoint. The
CPTers and other internationals left the area after an Israeli police
officer said, "Don't worry, they (Palestinians) will be safe. There are many
soldiers and police here." They returned after the checkpoint was closed
for a short amount of time. Kennedy and Hughes returned to the CPT apartment
by walking down Shuhada Street and entered the Old City at Gate 5. This area
was previously closed to CPT presence.

Wednesday 18 January

Dianne Roe took three of the delegation members to Wadi Ghroos to visit a
Campaign for Secure Dwellings partner. Returning home through the market,
Roe noticed a woman (clearly not Palestinian) in the entryway to the
Sharabati complex. When Roe turned around the woman was gone. The only
place the woman could have gone was into the Sharabati home. Israeli
settlers from the Avraham Avinu settlement have damaged most of the ancient
Sharabati buildings beyond repair.

The most recent incursion was 13 January after Israeli Hebron settlers
invited supporters to come to Hebron to prevent the eviction of Israeli
squatters. Although in the Israeli High Court ruled that the Sharabati
family could return to fix up their home, the Israeli police hold the key to
the home. From the side of the home adjacent to Avraham Avinu (where
Palestinians are not allowed) entry to the home is easy, but not from the
other side.

Roe called one of the Sharabatis to report that she had seen a woman go into
the house. On the way out they met a tent maker, who used to have a shop on
Shuhada Street just around the corner from the CPT apartment. Three years
ago the Israeli military welded this and other shops' doors shut and forced
owners to move their shops to a street far away from Shuhada Street. The
tent maker told Roe that recently Israeli settlers entered his shop and
robbed him of rolls of canvas and tent-making equipment. Shortly after the
robbery, settlers constructed tents near Avraham Avinu.