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More harassment and stonings in Tel Rumeida

Harrassment continues at checkpoint in Tel Rumeida
by ISM Hebron

Israeli harassment at Tel Rumeida checkpoint

At 11.50 at checkpoint 56 a Palestinian man approached the checkpoint, to pass from the Palestinian market to Tel Rumeida, with a metal cart with lots of bags and trays of food. The solider at the checkpoint refused to open the gate for the man and insisted that the man unload all the bags and trays and carry them through the metal detectors at the checkpoint. Only the empty metal cart would be allowed through the gate. The human rights worker (HRW) present at the checkpoint asked the soldier whether he could check the bags in the cart and then let it through but the soldier refused and insisted that everything be carrried through the checkpoint. The Palestinian man said that he had a problem with his back and leg and couldn’t do this but the soldier still refused to let him pass through the gate with the cart.

Finally, the HRW, the Palestinian man and an older female relative of his unloaded the cart and carried everthing through the metal detectors in the checkpoint. This took several trips through the checkpoint for each of them. There were some tins in the bags which set off the metal detectors but the soldier did not check the contents at all.

At 12.15 a Palestinian man approached the checkpoint carrying what looked like a large old-fashioned radio on his shoulder. Again, the soldiers refused to let the man pass through the gate so the Palestinian was forced to awkwardly carry the radio through the metal detectors. The metal detectors went off as the man walked through but the soldiers did not check the radio at all.

Tel Rumedia checkpoint, photo ISM Hebron

Israeli settlers in Tel Rumedia stone Palestinian home

Israeli settlers stone Palestinian home, Tel Rumeida

Adolescent settlers stoned the Saaed family home again today. They broke windows and an external water pipe and terrorised the women and 8 children that live there (the men were away at work). Family members said they telephoned the police but got no response. They also said that they had called to the soldiers on the top of the nearby military post who did not react.

The Saaed home is located on a pathway that links the Tel Rumeida and Beit Romano settlements. This makes the home a convenient and regular target for settlers using that route, especially on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath.

settlers stone Pal home, photo ISM Hebron

Three HRWs arrived at the house shortly after the incident. They were interviewing family members when they noticed settler children looking over at the Palestinian house. Three settler boys, aged approximately 10, then began to throw large stones at the HRWs. When asked by one of the HRWs to stop, one of the children shouted “fuck you” and carried on throwing stones. The HRWs repeatedly asked a soldier stationed at a nearby military post to fulfill his legally required duty and stop the children throwing stones. The soldier told the human rights workers to vacate the area, which only seemed to embolden the rock-throwers.

An adult settler appeared and did nothing to stop the children throwing stones. He did, however, threaten to call the police. HRWs asked the adult settler to restrain the children but he did not.

As the HRWs were leaving the scene, the settlers trespassed on the garden of a local Palestinian. When the HRWs asked why they were standing there, as it was not their property, the adult settler replied that this garden was Jewish property.

Approximately 6 soldiers arrived and told the HRWs to wait for the police. When the HRWs asked the police to remove the settlers from the Palestinian garden, a solider told the them that the garden was a Jewish property. A policeman arrived and spoke to the settlers and soliders but would not talk to the HRWs even though one of the soldiers offered to translate. Finally, two of the ISMers were told by the soldiers to go with the policeman to make a statement.

Israeli settler, rocks in hand, ISM Hebron

At the police station, the HRWs learnt that the adult settler had accused one of them of assaulting him. A review of the video tape shot by one HRW at the scene showed that no assault had taken place. No one was charged and no one arrested.

The Saaed family has been prohibited from owning or using a camera to record the rock-throwing incidents, based on a flimsy excuse that they may photograph the nearby military post.