June 22nd: Shortly after 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, a Palestinian youth informed two human rights workers sitting on Shuhada St. that settler youth were attacking the retaining wall just built alongside the new brick path to the Qurtuba School. When we reached the staircase up to the path, we saw three settler boys, aged approximately 10-12, on the path. When they saw us and our video camera, they immediately ran from the scene and crossed back to the Beit Hadassah settlement.
The settler boys had apparently used one large boulder and several bricks to smash some of the breeze-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 (Temporary International Presence in Hebron). 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 video-taped 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 6:40 p.m. 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.
More photos of the destruction can be seen at: