Thursday, July 31, 2014

Night time burglary

We got back close to midnight, and received a call from a Palestinian shop owner (Shaadi and Abed, the guys whose house was broken into last week) that settler kids were breaking into a gated off alley where his store used to be before soldiers closed it down several years ago, but he had some of his belongings.

We got down there with members from CPT and TIPH, and could actually see the teens coming down a ladder into the backlane. The DCO (District Co-odinating Office)- which is to be called so they can call the police- was called like 4 times both by the brothers and a CPT member. 

Not surprisingly, nothing happened. 

Exasperated, some of us ran to a nearby army base and notified a soldier on duty that settlers were breaking into a Palestinian store. The soldier is a young guy who I have seen before and is very polite, and I truly believe he means well. He immediately notified the others on the base. We made sure to thank him.  The group of soldiers went on a leisurely stroll to where we were, and began talking to the brothers.

Amazingly, at that very moment, the thieves came back and could be seen moving around in the alley. 

One of the brothers saw them, and pointed them out to the soldiers. The soldiers slowly walked back to the base, and then... nothing. I followed them along with two CPTers, and I asked the soldier on duty if they are going to do something to stop the thieves. He said of course, it's his job. He also told me that the thieves are "just stupid kids, we'll catch them". 

Then we got a phone call from ISMers who were with the brothers, that the thieves could be seen a third time in the alley, this time climbing up the ladder, carrying sacks. The soldier notified his friends, and they slowly walked over the alley on the roofs, looking down. 

When they got to where we were, lo and behold, the thieves were gone. 

The soldiers told us they will investigate tomorrow and that many of the settlers "are only children who have backpacks and travel from place to place so it's hard for us". However, they removed the ladder that was used to get down into the alley. 

The soldiers' lack of urgency, as opposed to their response to what happens when Palestinians oppose them (or are just randomly falsely accused of doing things they aren't guilty of) is depressingly noticeable and obvious.

Palestinian kids who would break into an Israeli settlement would be immediately arrested, if not worse. The soldiers would not be slowly walking back and forth, that is for sure.

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