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YNet: On tape: Palestinians harassed in Hebron ‘cage’

by Ali Waked, January 1oth

(VIDEO) Tape obtained by B’Tselem shows heated argument between Palestinian family in Hebron and woman Jewish settler; quarrel just one example of suffering we endure on daily basis, head of Palestinian family tells Ynet. Settlers’ spokesman: Claims exaggerated

VIDEO – The Abu- Aisha family in Hebron has been suffering at the hands of their neighbors from the nearby Jewish settler community of Tel-Rumeda for a along time now. A video filmed by 16-year-old Raja Abu Aisha and obtained by B’Tselem depicts a confrontation with a woman resident of the “Ramat Yishai” neighborhood in Tel-Rumeda.

Members of the Abu Aisha family claimed that the quarrel was just one example of the suffering they endure on a daily basis.

Taiseer Abu- Aisha, 43, told Ynet that he had filed between 200 and 300 complaints in recent years, but police did nothing to stop the harassing.

Abu-Aisha and his extended family live in a two-storey house. “The cage you see in the video is where we live. Not once do we open the door and not hear curse words or get stones and eggs thrown at us,” he said. “The latest fashion during this cold winter – the settlers spray us with cold water using a big fire hose located near the house.”

Abu- Aisha said “hell” is not a strong enough word to describe what his family is going through.

“To prevent confrontations with the settlers – we coordinate the time we leave the cage we live in with the settlers’ schedule,” he said. “We leave for work and school only after they do – and this results in tardiness.”

According to Abu Aisha, during the Eid al-Adha holiday a week ago he was forced to obtain special permits for his family to visit his home.

“My wife’s family has not visited us for the past five years because there are no permits and for fear of settler harassments,” he said.

Every once in a while, like today, Civil Administration officials visit the Abu Aisha house to make certain that no strangers reside there with the family members. Recently they have been required to obtain permits to bring their sheep into the property.

“The charity organizations wanted to give my father three sheep so he may raise them and earn a living, and we the Red Cross to coordinate their entrance (to the property), he said. “This is how life is in hell.”

Noam Arnon, spokesperson for the Jewish settlement in Hebron, told Ynet in response to the Abu Aisha family’s claims that “I am not saying there weren’t any incidents in which the family was attacked, but I thin it is being exaggerated. The claim regarding the hose sounds very odd to me, because as far as I know, the fire hose is municipal property, and people can’t use it at their own will.”

He added that “I know that the family once claimed that it is being harassed and that is why they built these bars, I believe with the funding of European organizations. Even if there was a certain need (for the bars), I believe they were placed here mainly for show; to display their misery. This description of daily abuse sounds unfounded.

Yishai District Police officials denied the Palestinian family’s claims, saying in a statement that, “We treat every complaint regardless of race, religion or sex, and evidence of this is the rise in the number of files opened after we received complaint of disorder.

“Police know how to differentiate between protecting the Jews of Hebron and dealing with complaints and disorderly conduct,” the statement said.