Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Beit Ummar Update

Saturday 09 February

Fallon, Frederick, Martens, Pritchard and other internationals attended an action in Beit Ummar, a village north of Hebron. The soldiers stood at the edge of Palestinian farmland, near the Israeli settlement fence while Palestinians planted trees on their land. One of the organizers attempted to plant a sapling close to the settlement fence. The soldiers told him he must move back 10 feet to the “line.” Martens asked the soldiers, “Where does his land go to?” They admitted it went up to the fence but said, “This man can plant his trees there tomorrow. We will not prevent him. Only not today, because of the situation.”

Martens spoke with four soldiers about peace for everyone, who responded, “We do not like violence either, but we need to be soldiers because every 10 years there is a war.” Martens responded, “So if this way has not kept you from having a war every 10 years then there must be a better way for peace. You must challenge your government to find this way, as I do with my government when I return to Canada, so that the violence can stop. . .”

Wednesday 13 February

CPTers responded to a call from a Palestinian in Beit Ummar that the Israeli military had placed the village under curfew and had been arresting Palestinian men (See Release: Israeli Military Conducts Major Operation in Beit Ummar). Abuata, Martens, Uhler, and Wendeln went to the village.

Israeli police showed Abuata, Matens, and other internationals an order and a map for Beit Ummar as a closed military zone. Israeli authorities stopped CPTers and informed them they needed to leave immediately. By using back routes, CPTers were able to follow and monitor Israeli soldier’s movements. CPTers asked Palestinians about the soldiers’ actions while in the houses and learned the searches had not involved destruction of property or violence.

Uhler and Wendeln learned that the Israeli military partially demolished a stone works shop on Route 60.

Thursday 14 February


After spending the night in Beit Umar, Uhler and Wendeln visited the stone store that had been partially demolished the day before. The soldiers had given the family ten minutes notice before bulldozing parts of the store. Uhler and Wendeln then visited a partially constructed home Israeli military had also damaged, including water pipes that the army used for throwing Molotov cocktails.

Then they met the new mayor, who was removing road blocks in the area. Finally, the CPTers went to an office Israeli soldiers had severely damaged. The office made IDs. The CPTers learned that soldiers broke into 55 homes before 2am Wednesday, damaging some of the homes.

*Names changed.

No comments: