by ISM Hebron, October 13th
For the duration of the week the streets of Tel Rumeida, close to the illegal Jewish-only colonies of Tel Rumeida and Beit Hadassah have been adorned with Israeli flags, slogans and orange ribbons (signifying support for the settler movement).
On Monday over a thousand Israeli tourists descended on Tel Rumeida for the Succot holiday while Palestinian religious freedom was restricted at the Ibrahimi mosque. Soldiers escorted settlers in a march into Hebron’s Old City – an illegal invasion. Palestinian civilians were cleared out of the way with tear gas and sound grenades.
Twice this week, internationals have witnessed Israeli colonists from the Tel Rumeida settlement picking olives belonging to Palestinians located below the settlement caravans. The Palestinians are afraid to harvest the olives because of their proximity to the caravans of Tel Rumeida settlement, whose residents are carry out constant violence and harassment against Palestinian civilians. One family living below the settlement continues to have the path to the main road blocked by barbed wire despite an Israeli Supreme Court ruling.
On Wednesday, on two separate occasions, international human rights workers were attacked and abused by settler children close to Beit Hadassah settlement. Several Palestinian families have olive groves in Tel Rumeida and have in recent years had problems harvesting their olives. They have started picking already but the main harvest period is after Eid when they are anxious to be able to pick.