by ISM Hebron
30 May 2007
Tel Rumeida, HEBRON–At approximately 17:40 on Wed. May 30, a female Human Rights Worker (HRW) was sat at the top of Tel Rumeida street opposite the Israeli solider post. Four Israeli settler children approached, between the age of 8 – 10 years of age. The settlers proceeded to take out a camera and begin taking photos of the HRW. When the female HRW began filming the incident, the settlers approached her. They spoke to her aggressively in Hebrew but she did not respond. The settlers surrounded the female HRW, continuing to take photos. One of the settlers tried to grab the camera and tried to hit her.
At the time there were two Israeli soldiers present at the guard post, one of whom approached and asked the children to leave. The settlers, however, refused and persisted to surround the female HRW. After approximately five minutes, the children left, but returned a few minutes later and approached the female HRW once again. The settlers again refused to cooperate with the soldier who asked them to move and went to surround the HRW once more. They were verbally aggressive towards the female HRW and verbally aggressive towards the soldier. When one of the children attempted to break the HRW’s camera once again, the soldier picked the boy up and moved him away from the HRW. Despite this, the children refused to obey the soldier’s command and proceeded to continue to harass the HRW.
The soldier claimed that the settler children had been provoked by the HRW filming, however, the HRW demonstrated that for the past hour she had not been filming the settlers when they started their harassment. Two additional HRWs arrived on the scene a few minutes later, at which point the settlers proceeded to take pictures of the two new HRWs and spoke aggressively in Hebrew to them. The children tried to grab the camera. When the soldier attempted to get them to leave, one of the settler children approached a Palestinian house where a few Palestinian children had retreated out of fear. When the female HRW blocked the settler from passing, alongside a soldier, a second settler child attempted to kick the HRW. After some minutes, the soldier managed to convince the children to leave.
At approximately 18:15, a Palestinian woman, carrying a young child and accompanied by two further young children, was walking past the Tel Rumeida Settlement. Three HRWs were present at the guard post by the road junction on Tel Rumeida street. They witnessed a group of five settler children harass the woman and her children and proceed to throw stones at them. A female HRW had to intervene in the incident which was beyond the “permitted” point for Palestinians and internationals to pass. However, a soldier tried to prevent her from passing despite the Palestinians being attacked. Due to the presence of the female HRW the settler children stopped throwing stones and the Palestinian woman and her children were able to escape further harassment.
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ISM Media Office, 0599-943-157, 0542-103-657