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Israeli Settler Attacks and Harassment in Hebron

by ISM Hebron

27th September 2006: At 1:30pm today a stoning took place on Shuhada Street near Beit Hadassah settlement, which is the street where most of the attacks against Palestinians in the street occur. Eight Israeli settler children, aged about ten years old, threw rocks at the Palestinians and at windows of a home, which were already barred due to previous attacks. The settler children also threw rocks at internationals filming the situation. The attack ended within a few minutes because the two Israeli soldiers stationed at Beit Hadassah settlement forced the children back. It usually isn’t the case that they intervene against colonist settler violence like they did in this instance.

This situation isn’t unusual. It happens several times a week and often while Palestinian children are on their way to and from school. At the moment teachers are on strike because they haven’t been paid for over six month. Despite the large amount of leisure time they have because of this, few Palestinian children can be seen on the streets. They are afraid to go out because of the never-ending attacks from Israeli settlers.

At the same time that the attack against the children on Shuhada street was happening, the home of Zuhair Al-Bayed was attacked by three Israeli settlers, aged around seventeen. They came from the olive groves near Shuhada Street, throwing rocks from above the house. The settlers destroyed one of the solar cell panels the family kept on the roof to heat water. Fortunately no one in the family was hit by the rocks. The home of Zuhair Al-Bayed has been attacked five times, but they are reluctant to call the Israeli police or military: “We don’t want to call them because it takes a very long time before they come. If they do come, they don’t help us or they cause more problems to us than if we wouldn’t call them at all”, said the son in the family.

At 4:00pm about four settler boys, aged 8-10, stoned the Al-Azzeh and Sharabati homes from their Tel Rumeida settlement caravans. Settler adults could be seen in the area throughout the time the children were stoning.

At 4:10pm, an international noticed a group of settler women and children from Tel Rumeida walk up to the Abu Haikel house, located on a hill near the olive groves above the Tel Rumeida settlement. The women were filmed hoeing on the Abu Haikel land within about 30 feet of the home. Later, the group of settler women and children walked back down to the settlement carrying about four rakes and hoes.

Internationals visiting the home of the Al-Azzeh family learned that the family has continued to be without water for 20 days. Women and teenaged males from Tel Rumeida settlement were seen by the family cutting their water pipes, which run directly below the settlement. The Al-Azzeh family and the Sharabati family are without water and have been forced to get water from their neighbors. The family is not able to mop their floors or do anything that requires a lot of water; instead, they are only able to drink and wash with it.

They have repaired the pipes numerous times, but the Tel Rumeida settlers simply cut them again.