Sunday, July 27, 2014

Saturday night

Saturday yesterday was almost one of ISM Hebron's non-eventful days. We went on a patrol, and aside from a nice walk, nothing bad happened. The weekly settler tour through the souq did not take place, and that meant that many Palestinian shopkeepers were relieved, not needing to worry about armed soldiers escorting settlers through their shops, and everything temporarily shutting down.

We talked to our CPT friends, hung out in our apartment, and met some new members who are awesome- like everyone else on the team. We have some great group dynamics here, and everyone gets along and takes part and helps out. I am forming some more friendships that I think will probably last for life. Unfortunately, because of Israel's police of denying ISMers entry, there will be no photos.

After a nice supper and meeting, some of us were about to go to bed.

Then at 10:00, we received a call from some Palestinians, who were alarmed at hearing loud booms in their neighborhood, and seeing many armed soldiers. We went out, and came into a neighbourhood called Qeitun. The soldiers were doing a "military drill" of some sort, forcing their entry into an abandoned apartment and throwing in sound bombs and shooting teargas inside. The loud noise caused a lot of fear and apprehension among the neighbours, who were not warned in any way, and had no idea what was going on. I suppose this is a bit better than stories I heard of when, in the not too distant past, soldiers have broken into Palestinian homes and woke up men and handcuffed them and took them away. Also, as part of "training".

On the way to the scene, we walked into some settler men, who looked us over menacingly and made a few choice comments:
" Looking for some action?"
"You are instigators."
"You better be careful. It's dangerous out here."

The "instigators" comment in particular irked me. I wanted to ask which one of them- or their friends- instigated the attack on the Sharabati family, and what kind of a man it takes to teargas an elderly woman and send her to the hospital. Sometimes however, it's best to keep one's mouth shut, and this was one of them. We moved on.

By the time we got to the scene, the soldiers were leaving. Some of them looked at us angrily and took pictures, like they always do. There were CPTers and observers from TIPH on the scene also.

We came back home, and about 2 hours later, received news that some young settler settler men were manning a checkpoint with soldiers, and spat on a Palestinian woman. By the time we arrived, the settlers were walking away, laughing.

Passing through Shuhada Street at night, near one of the army bases.

A soldier photographs us photographing him and his buddies as they conduct military manouevers in a neighbourhood filled with civilians trying to sleep.

The apartment the soldiers were drilling in.

Palestinians in the neighbourhood, close to the building that was chosen for night-time war drills.

A group of settler men walking down the street, as Palestinian woman make their way up. The settlers were harrassing Palestinians at the checkpoint they were manning alongside soldiers, and spat at a woman.

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