Christian Peacemaker Team – Hebron
July 14, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On July 13, 2pm about 20 Israeli police and soldiers invaded the Awewi family home in Hebron’s Old City. They forced the mother and the eight children into the kitchen and arrested the father, who is a Palestinian Authority (PA) police officer. The mother attempted to force the door of the kitchen open to give her husband his shoes and trousers, but a soldier pushed her against the counter in spite of her obvious pregnant status. She threw the shoes down the stairwell, hoping her husband could retrieve them.
Meantime, about 20 Israeli soldiers guarding the street below had ordered a closure of the surrounding shops and prevented Palestinians from walking past for about 15 minutes. One of the soldiers shouted to the people, “Nobody come close or we will shoot.”
By the time CPTers reached the area, the Israeli police and soldiers had taken the Palestinian to Bab il Baledeyya (Beit Romano settlement) checkpoint and ordered him behind the checkpoint gate.
CPTers then visited the mother and her shaken-up family. The mother shared all the above information with CPT and was obviously very distressed. The police had given her no reason for the arrest, and it can take up to 14 days before the Red Cross can find out information for family members from Israeli authorities about arrested or detained Palestinians.
Since Israeli settlers established the settlement of Avraham Avinu right next to their home the Awewi family has experienced a lot of distress. The settlers have harassed the family many times, including invasions, and a fire set to one of their bedrooms. Israeli authorities have also arrested family members at least twice. The family has received many large financial offers from the settlers to purchase their home, but the family refuses to sell.
The Israeli police released the PA police officer three hours later, reprimanded him for arresting a Palestinian in the Old City (in H2 area of Hebron under full Israeli control) and not informing the Israeli police of this, and told him not to work in the Old City.