|HOME | VIDEOS | MORE... | DAILY UPDATES | NEWS | COLONIZER QUOTES | GLOSSARY | ABOUT
PHOTOS | MAP | REPORTS | CONTACT | MESSAGES IN SUPPORT OF TEL RUMEIDA FAMILIES
|2006 january | february | march | april |
may | june | july | august | september | october | november | december
DAILY UPDATE REPORTS ARE THE COMBINED EFFORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOLDARITY MOVEMENT and TEL RUMEIDA PROJECT
The family of Tayseer Abu Eisha said that at least ten settlers from the Tel Rumeida settlement attacked
June 2, 2006 FRIDAY
This morning I and another international did a patrol around Tel Rumeida. As we went by a home near the Muslim cemetery, more or less opposite the IDF post next to Beit Hadassah, we were greeted by two young men and their father, who told us that a gang of settlers of mixed ages had come in the middle of the previous night, sometime around 3am.
The settlers, they said, had hammered on a cement and steel-rod column, which is perhaps one foot square, that holds up a second-story overhang above the door of the house on the side facing the cemetery. Apparently they knocked off several pieces of the cement.
Because this conversation took place entirely in Arabic and gestures, I called a translator to talk to the family and make sure we had the story right. He confirmed our understanding of what happened and suggested that we offer go with the family to the police station to file a complaint. We asked the family if they wanted to file a complaint with the police, but the family declined - one of the young men said he'd been beaten by police when he had gone to them another time, and anyway the police wouldn't do anything. One of the internationals took some still photos of the damaged column.
Fernando later reported the incident to a group of soldiers “guarding” the swimming hole in the olive grove. They responded that the family may have made up the story, or maybe the damage was done by other Palestinians, or perhaps by us.
I returned to the house the next day, and spoke to the father on the day after that, but so far the settlers have not returned.
June 3, 2006 SATURDAY
At 3:10 p.m. three settler boys, probably about nine or 10 years old, threw about six stones at me as I was monitoring Shuhada Street in Tel Rumeida. With another international, I was at the middle of the block between the checkpoint and the Beit Hadassah settlement, simply observing.
The boys approached from the checkpoint direction and picked up stones from the street as they approached. As they came near, a police jeep happened by, and they did nothing until it was out of sight and they were past me and another international. At that point they began throwing the stones at me. I moved toward them, yelling at them to cut it out and at the soldier stationed near the settlement to stop them.
He walked slowly in their direction and may have asked them to stop, but showed no urgency, and didn't
A few minutes later a police jeep came by, asked if everything was ok and a HRW told him three boys were throwing rocks. The officer said he would look into it. After that about three border police appeared at the stone stairs.
At approximately 4pm, an old man with a donkey attempted to pass through the checkpoint. The soldier on duty would not let him. A HRW inquired to see what the problem was. There was one nice soldier and one mean solder. The HRW spoke at length to the nice soldier who told her his commander had ordered them not to let the man through.
The HRW told him the man goes through everyday. The soldier said he could not go through today.
June 6, 2006 TUESDAY
At 4:30pm, a HRW was sitting across from the apartment, when two settler children, about 8 to 10 years of age, where let out of a car in front of him. They walked past, towards the Tel Rumeida settlement, stopped at the first skip, and picked up stones, which they threw at HRW, hitting him in the neck and collarbone.
The soldier on guard was alerted by a passing community member, and came to intervene, at which point the children left, running up the hill to the Tel Rumeida settlement.
June 7, 2006 WEDNESDAY
At 5:00pm, two HRWs where just departing their post on Shuhada Street when two children between 7 and 8 years of age, came up from the Bet Hadassah settlement began hurling stones at a HRW, while the HRW recorded.
The soldier was slow to intervene, trying to chase off the children when a HRW called for him to do so.
The children evaded the soldier, continuing to throw stones for a few minutes, before running off back to
At 10:00pm, six soldiers turned up at the apartment, banging on the door and asking to be let in. They said they where bored and lonely and wanted to come in for tea and coffee, giggling and calling to us in falsetto voices. This lasted about half an hour, before they left, singing and laughing.
An independent researcher was outside while this was going on, having been caught outside smoking a
When she told them they where “hillu hashem” (a disgrace to god ), one asked her of she spoke Hebrew; she told them she did not, and by the way he spoke to her in that language in a tone suggesting she was being insulted, then repeated the routine with Arabic.
She asked a different soldier who had seemed more sympathetic, why they were doing this, to which he
She told him that when they behaved in this way, they disgraced themselves and their country.
June 8, 2006 THURSDAY
At 12:13am, a HRW (who was in Bethlehem at the time) received a call from a woman from the Abu Haikel household.
At around 10:30pm of the 7th, six soldiers entered their home, confiscating their mobile phones, and turning them out of doors, except for one son, who they locked in a room downstairs, when asked why, one of the soldiers replied: “…because I want to f*** him...”
They went through all the wardrobes and cupboards of the house, the computer and digital camera. When asked what they where looking for they refused to answer.
One of the soldiers took photos of everyone, with his mobile phone camera.
When the mother told them they where “like Hitler’s soldiers” they agreed, with evidence of pride, that they where indeed like Hitler’s soldiers.
At midnight the soldiers left, saying that they would return, and it is at this point that the woman called a HRW, who relayed the message to us.
A HRW called the family to ask if they wanted us to send someone to stay with them, the woman replied
At half past nine of that day we visited the family, and they related the full story to us.
June 10, 2006 SATURDAY
At 7:50pm, it was noticed that a dozen soldiers and two jeeps, where gathered in the street outside the
At 8:15pm, at least four soldiers came to the door of the apartment, the first of them saying: “Let us in. I’m asking nicely this time.”
When they where refused one of them went down on his knees and begged to be let in.
A HRW asked if they had a warrant, they replied that they did not, and after about ten minutes they left.
June 14, 2006 WEDNESDAY
At approximately 12:30 PM, two HRWs on Shuhada Street noticed a group of about 8 or 10 settlers boys between the ages of 9 and 12 carrying plastic bags filled with water. The boys were coming out of the Beit Hadassah settlement and were headed up the stone stairs into the Palestinian neighborhood.
The HRWs followed the boys to the stairs and were attacked with the bags of water. The soldier on duty at the IDF post spoke to the HRWs in Hebrew and made gestures for them to leave. The HRWs told the soldiers they only spoke English and asked him to get the kids to stop attacking them. The soldier did nothing and the children began throwing rocks at the HRWs.
The HRWs went to the top of the stone stairs where Palestinian workers were constructing a cement wall
The Palestinian workers informed the HRWs that they would be going on a lunch break and asked the HRWs to stay at the site because they were afraid the settlers would destroy the cement while it was still
Soon thereafter a jeep with four soldiers arrived. One of them angrily confronted the HRWs and said that if they didn't leave, that the police would be called. The HRWs agreed that that would be a good idea if the police were called considering the soldiers weren't preventing the kids from attacking them.
The solider said that they must leave because it was a Jewish-only place. One HRW informed this soldier that she, in fact, was Jewish and that she could thus remain. The soldier then insisted, "No, you are not Jewish." The soldiers then threatened to arrest the HRWs and the two proceeded up the staircase a few feet.
After some time, the HRWs went back to Shuhada Street. As the HRWs were on the street, the soldier
At this point, the police arrived. They asked if anything was wrong and the HRWs informed them of the settler violence. The policeman said a complaint could be filed if desired, otherwise the HRWs weren't
About four settler kids entered the soldier's post. One of the settlers emerged and lunged threateningly
Two settlers began throwing LARGE rocks at the HRWs. The HRWs pleaded with the soldier to make the
TO SEE VIDEO OF THIS ATTACK, PLEASE CLICK HERE:
The settlers continued to throw many rocks at point blank range, attempting to steal the camera, and hitting one HRW with his fists. All of this happened as the solider watched, doing nothing. One of the HRWs was bleeding on her leg and arm. The police were called and the settlers stopped throwing rocks.
Since the police would not help, the HRWs called CPT and EAPPI and asked if they could come help. They agreed to come.
Another HRW called the police again and the police said they would come only after they were informed
About seven minutes later, a police jeep drove by but did not stop. An HRW followed the jeep on foot.
At this point two women from CPT and seven members of EAPPI arrived.
At Kiryat Arba police station, the testimony took four hours to record. The police officer was sympathetic and appeared to be rather shocked at the video footage and especially at the soldier refusing to intervene. He found out who the soldier was and said he would speak to him.
The solider who was allowing the settlers to throw the rocks engaged in throwing stones at the settler kids, in a playful manner. In exchange, the settlers would then throw rocks from the parking lot below the pathway to Qurtaba School at the remaining HRWs above. The kids would hide behind the Israeli ambulance that was parked there, which the solider hit a few times as he threw his rocks at the settlers.
The Palestinian workers returned and asked the HRWs to come back at 7AM the following day to ensure
As the situation calmed, the HRWs began to return home. As they walked past the checkpoint, they noticed four Palestinian women being detained. EAPPI and CPT were present as well. The two soldiers at the checkpoint weren't allowing them to enter because they didn't have the proper papers. One woman called her husband to bring her passport, which was an American passport. The HRWs tried to speak with the soldiers but they would not engage in conversation. One of the soldiers even pulled out his wire handcuffs and threatened to use them on one of the HRWs. The three other Palestinian women at the checkpoint who did not have their papers were refused entry. Dialogue with the soldiers was attempted by all the NGOs, but entry was still denied.
During all of this, a new regiment of soldiers was touring Hebron. One soldier informed an HRW that these new soldiers would be even harsher than the ones that had been present that day...
June 16, 2006 FRIDAY
At around 9:00 a.m. a group of settlers started a fire in the olive grove surrounding the Abu Heikel home atop Tel Rumeida hill. The family itself did not see the settlers light the fire, according to Fariel Abu Heikel, but members of the Hadad family, who live nearby, did, and they recorded the scene on video -
Ferial called the municipal fire department, which succeeded in putting out the fire after it had burned
IDF soldiers were present during some, if not all, of the incident. According to the witnesses, they did nothing to prevent or put out the fire. Their only intervention in the situation came when they spotted the
According to the mother of the family, this incident was not at all unprecedented - her family has suffered similar arson attacks each year for several years. The tactic seems to be a regular part of the settlers' campaign to intimidate the Abu Heikel family and the other residents of the Tel Rumeida neighborhood into abandoning their homes.
June 17, 2006 SATURDAY
On Saturday, June 17, more soldiers than usual were deployed around the Beit Hadassah settlement; in
Around 10:00 a.m. four or five settler boys in front of the Beit Hadassah settlement picked up rocks and
The soldier on the roof of the abandoned house called down to his colleague at the soldier station, who
A few minutes later a blue police jeep arrived, followed by an army jeep. For several hours extra troops
June 22, 2006 THURSDAY
An Israeli army officer today ordered a halt to all work on a project to pave and improve a path schoolgirls and teachers have to take to reach Qurtaba School. The order came despite the fact that the project has a permit from Israeli authorities, is funded by the international monitoring group TIPH, and has been underway for months, in plain sight of a nearby soldier station.
The construction site is opposite the Beit Hadassah settlement on Shuhada Street. Because Palestinians are not permitted to walk in front of the settlement to reach what was originally the main walkway to the school, for years teachers and students going to the Qurtuba girls school have been forced to climb a rough stone staircase and walk along an unpaved path to reach the school. On the stairs and the path they are frequently targeted by rock-throwing settler youth. Even though a soldier station that is staffed 24 hours a day is located only about 20 feet from the staircase, the Israeli military and police have never taken effective action to prevent the attacks.
This year TIPH, an independent organization originally created in 1994 by agreement between Israel and the PLO after the massacre of 29 Palestinians by an Israeli settler led the United Nations Security Council to call for an international presence in Hebron, decided to fund improvements to the staircase and path. TIPH secured permission from the Israeli authorities for the plan, which included adding a railing on the stairs, paving the walkway with bricks, and building a small retaining wall to protect the brickwork. After the bricks were first laid, settlers trashed them in a night attack, but Palestinian workers started over again, and today the project is ear completion.
Settler youth, however, have continued to attack Palestinians working on the project. This morning, at
A period of quiet followed, and the workers were able to resume work. At around 9:40 a.m., however, a
When the HRWs argued that the project would not been allowed to proceed as far as it has if it lacked the required permits, the commander insisted that he would not allow further work until he could see a permit for it.
The HRWs called high military authorities to protest and alerted TIPH to the problem. Three TIPH observers arrived shortly afterwards. After surveying the scene and talking to the workers, they left to check with their superiors, but returned later to confirm that the permits for the project did indeed include the retaining wall - in fact, they said, the permits actually allowed additional fencing that the school officials had decided against.
By this time, however, the military jeep with the commander who had forbidden the work had left the area. At around 11:30 a.m. the TIPH observers came back again and told the workers that construction had been suspended until further notice and they should leave the area, which they promptly did.
Shortly after 4:00pm, a Palestinian youth informed two human rights workers sitting on Shuhada St. that
The settler boys had apparently used one large boulder and several bricks to smash some of the cement blocks the new wall is made of. In all, they damaged 26 of the 95 blocks that make up the top row of the retaining wall, which is part of an improvement program funded by the international monitoring group TIPH. They almost totally destroyed some of the blocks, but did not get to the second layer of blocks. If human rights workers had not been stationed nearby, the damage would undoubtedly have been much worse.
The human rights workers videotaped the damage and called the police, the army office, and TIPH to report the incident. A police jeep arrived 5-10 minutes later, but the police officers refused to get out of their vehicle to survey the damage or to talk to the settlers. TIPH promised to send one of its monitoring teams to inspect the damage to the project it is financing, but as of 6:40pm the team had not arrived.
At around 6 p.m. one of three Palestinian youth talking with a human rights worker on the path was hit in the arm and cut by a sharp stone thrown by a settler boy hiding behind a car parked in front of the settlement.
June 23, 2006 FRIDAY
At around 2:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon a human rights worker (HRW) from Tel Rumeida and an EAPPI
While the attack was going on, one of the settler youth circled behind the HRW and grabbed a backpack
Two soldiers on duty outside the settlement shouted something to the boys and walked in their direction,
The HRW reported the incident the Kiryat Arba police station, and a jeep arrived within five minutes.
At one point the HRW spotted one of the youths who had taken part in the original attack (not the thief) and pointed him out to the police officer. The officer hurried to pass on the information to his colleague, but the other officer did nothing; meanwhile, smaller settler children who heard the discussion between the officers ran to warn the youth who had been spotted, and he left the scene.
As a crowd gathered, a contingent of about 20 soldiers and a border police vehicle arrived. The HRWs
Eventually the police reported that the settler woman would attempt to retrieve the stolen backpack. At the urging of the police, and on the advice of a B'Tselem activist who happened to be passing by, the HRW agreed to go to the Kiryat Arba police station to file a complaint. Officers there took a statement from the HRW, then drove him back to the police station near the Ibrahimi Mosque/Cave of the Patriarchs. The settler woman who had argued with the police was waiting inside - with the stolen bag.
World Council of Churches - News Release
A member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) EAPPI was attacked by a woman settler in the Tel
It is not known if the woman intended to suffocate her, but the accompanier had difficulty breathing.
Although a soldier was standing next to the group of volunteers, he did not act to stop the attack. After the incident, members of the international solidarity movement who had witnessed the incident filed a complaint with the police. However, Masango was told by the police that they did not believe her testimony.
Rifat Kassis, EAPPI international programme coordinator, stated: “This is just one in a long line of incidents targeting internationals in Hebron. The WCC continues to advocate that all settlers in Hebron be withdrawn and settler-occupied properties be returned to their Palestinian owners. A letter was sent to the Israeli ambassador in Switzerland in April, following similar incidents. It requested appropriate actions by the Israeli authorities and law enforcement agencies to stop this behaviour toward Palestinians and internationals. The WCC has so far received no response.”
June 24, 2006 SATURDAY
Human rights workers on the streets in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron were repeatedly spat upon by settler teenagers and children today, and the settlers attempted unsuccessfully to prevent two workers from sitting peacefully in front of their home by surrounding, pushing, and jostling them.
Members of the same group also threw stones at Palestinian children and bumped monitors from TIPH
During the previous night, at around 12:30 a.m., a group of about eight settler teenagers also disturbed the neighborhood by sitting on the street near Palestinian homes and singing songs about their hero, the ultra-rightwing leader Kahane, in loud voices.
June 25, 2006 SUNDAY
Two HRWs received a phone call around 8:45pm, asking them to proceed to the Abu Haikal house because there were settlers from the Tel Rumeida Settlement causing problems on the family’s land.
The HRWs were greeted by the family, who then led the HRWs to the backyard. The Abu Haikal family
While the family was relaying the information, including the make, model and license plate of the settler car (White Ford Van #39-538-51), the two Israeli soldiers came up the stairs onto the Abu Haikal property. They started screaming at the family, saying that they and the HRWs could not be there because they were posing a threat to the settlement. The HRWs assured the soldier that they were merely assessing the situation and would wait until the police arrived. The soldier again raised his voice, shouting for everyone to retreat back into the house. One HRW recorded the soldier’s words.
The soldier was screaming in Hebrew at one of the Abu Haikal family members. He was threatening to shoot the man if he did not retreat, later stating to a settler woman, “I hate Arabs!” This went on for a couple minutes. The police were called again and they assured the HRWs that they would be there shortly and to wait in the front of the house for the vehicle.
The HRWs and the family members went to the front of the house, where the police never came.
The settler denied any involvement and no water pump was found in the car. The police and the settler left before speaking with the HRWs, who initially called them, or any other family members involved.
TIPH was called, who assured the HRWs and the Abu Haikal family that they would come tomorrow
June 26, 2006 MONDAY
Tonight at approximately 9pm, a Palestinian advisor came to the apartment and told us there were some
I went downstairs and found two workers who had carried a ladder and a bunch of electrical supplies up the hill and were detained at the top of Tel Rumeida hill. I talked to the soldiers briefly and then talked to the Palestinian workers. I asked the soldiers why they were not being allowed to go fix the electricity problem. The soldiers said it was order from their commander and that the workers could come back in the morning.
I called the DCO and they told me they were not going to talk to “independent observers.” they told me the Palestinian workers must call another number. The workers called this number and still they were detained. We also called the police.
Eventually one of those vehicles halfway between a hummer and a tank rolled up the street. I attempted to speak to the soldier in this vehicle who was some kind of commander. He was completely unhelpful.
Eventually the workers gave up and left.
June 27, 2006 TUESDAY
Settler youth continue to trash a internationally funded project intended to make it safer for Palestinian girls to reach their elementary school.
The project, funded by the international monitoring group TIPH, involves several improvements to a staircase and pathway the girls have to take to reach the Qurtuba School, which is located opposite the Beit Hadassah settlement. Workers have recently bricked in the path and built a low cement-block retaining wall alongside it to protect it from erosion of the hillside above it.
Five days ago, on June 22, 2006, settler youth began attacking the wall, using bricks and boulders to smash the cement blocks. Police summoned to the scene refused even to get out of their jeep to assess the damage.
Human rights workers witnessed a second attack by the settler youth the following day, and there have
Meanwhile, the workers on the job have not returned to the site since an Israeli military officer ordered them to stop work, on the grounds that they lacked a permit for the construction of the retaining wall, on June 22, a few hours before the first attack by the settler youth. In fact, according to TIPH, the work is completely in line with the permit for the project issued by Israeli authorities.
JUNE 28, 2006 WEDNESDAY
At approximately 6:15pm, two HRWs were sitting on Shuhada street when some settler children started to throw rocks at Palestinians in front of the Beit Hadassah settlement. One HRW intervened while the other scanned the area and saw Beit Hadassah settler Anat Cohen approaching.
Anat began yelling at the intervening HRW in Hebrew and yelled at the soldier on duty to stop him. The soldier approached the HRW and demanded that he leave, saying he was not allowed in the area and was not allowed to film the scene - two claims that are completely contrary to Israeli law. The three settler children were continuing to throw rocks at Palestinians on the path above and the HRW continued to try to film them, despite the settler and soldier’s attempts to stop the human rights work.
The second HRW came to help as Anat began to physically block the first HRW’s way.
At this point more soldiers had showed up and began yelling at the HRWs. The HRWs then decided to call the police.
The police came very quickly this time.. it is likely that one of the soldiers must have called them as well.
After explaining to a commander what they were doing there (filming and intervening when settlers throw
The HRW informed him that was absolutely false, that Palestinians are allowed to be there and have been using the street regularly. When the commander continued to try to use this lie to remove the HRWs, one of the HRWs called UN OCHA. The contact advised her to file a police report at the Kiryat Arba police station.
The HRW told Anat that she would also be filing a police complaint against her for kicking the HRW.
As the HRW got into the back of the police jeep, Anat told a police officer that the other, male, HRW had
He was told to get in the back of the jeep too. The police officer informed the HRW that the soldier on duty was backing Anat’s story.
The HRWs both went to the police station where they would spend the next 3 hours.
The HRWs and soldier all gave their testimonies.
While these HRWs were waiting and worrying that the male would be arrested, other HRWs in Tel Rumeida said they spoke to a soldier who had seen everything, knew that HRWs hadn’t done anything wrong, but was too scared to come forward in their defense.
The soldier at the police station gave false testimony for an hour that the male HRW had attacked Anat.
The police told this HRW that four other soldiers were also corroborating the story.
The HRW was released, but the police did not indicate whether he was being charged with any crimes.