by ISM Hebron, March 3rd
Throughout the afternoon, settlers in Tel Rumeida harrassed Palestinian children who were outside playing, enjoying the first sunshine in a few days. They yelled insults and repeatedly pretended to charge at one child riding a bike.
Three internationals were physically assaulted over the course of a few hours. The first attack was against a member of CPT, who was hit in the ear with a rock while standing on Shuhadda Street. Settlers threw rocks at the group of human rights workers (HRWs), hitting one in the ear and causing it to bleed.
The second incident occurred when two HRWs attempted to film four settler teenagers who were trying to goad their dog into attacking an older Palestinian man. When the settlers saw that they were being filmed, they charged the woman with the camera. The other HRW intervened, and in the process was bitten by the dog and repeatedly shoved by one of the settler youths. A soldier eventually broke up the confrontation, but then proceeded to lecture the HRWs that we were not allowed to film in Tel Rumeida. The soldier also noted that the altercation was no big deal because “They’re just 16-year old boys.” In under two years, these same boys will be given guns.
A group of international volunteers joined local Palestinians in Beit Omar north of Hebron to plant olive trees today. They visited Beit Omar Municipality and met the Mayor of Beit Omar who welcomed the international visit to the village. He gave brief information on the area and and land confiscation by Occupation authorities. According to him, about 30 per cent of the land in Beit Omar has been confiscated for the construction of the planned apartheid wall, but it is actually about 60 per cent of the village’s agricultural land.
After the meeting with the Mayor, the volunteers gathered on land near the Gush Etzion settlement block where the wall is planned to be built. Local Palestinians, together with internationals planted 150 olive trees on the land. About 20 Israeli soldiers and police officers turned up but didn’t disrupt the planting.