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Israeli Military Harrassment of Human Rights Workers in Hebron Continues

On July 28th, a human rights worker (HRW) was sitting by checkpoint 56 (which is the main entrance to Tel Rumeida, Hebron from the Palestinian controlled H1 area) from about 12 noon til 3:00 in order to monitor the behavior of the soldiers. During this time she was also drawing the surrounding buildings in her sketchbook. The two soldiers on duty who were friendly, asked to see what she was drawing and she showed them. The soldiers behaved well towards the Palestinians coming and going through the checkpoint and complied when the HRW requested they keep their dogs away from the Palestinians. They made an effort to control the dogs and the HRW thanked them for this.

At about 3pm the “nice” soldiers left and were replaced by two new ones. At about 3:30pm, approximately six other soldiers and a police jeep showed up. One soldier asked the HRW what she was doing. She showed him the drawing she had been doing and he asked to see the whole sketchbook. She denied his request. The police officer asked her if she was causing problems or taking notes about the soldiers at the checkpoint. She said no she was only sketching the buildings. At this point there were about six soldiers standing around her, accusing her of causing problems for the soldiers on duty at the checkpoint and demanding that she show them her sketchbook. She refused again and tried to leave the area. The soldiers physically blocked her path but she pushed passed them.

She headed back to the her apartment and was intercepted by a soldier at the top of the hill by the apartment. He told her she needed to stop. She refused, telling him she urgently had to go to the bathroom. He told her she must leave her backpack with him if she wanted to go to the bathroom. She refused and he attempted to grab her backpack and physically prevent her from going into the apartment. She held onto the backpack, pushed passed him and entered the apartment.