For the past two weeks, things in Hebron’s Old City have been unnaturally quiet; no settler or IOF violence (Israeli Occupation Forces), no crisis situations. Our team (sponsored by a group called Christian Peacemaker Teams) was almost lulled into a complacent state.
There had been a few incidents that kept us aware of the potential return to “normal”: military maneuvers in Palestinian areas across the street from our apartment and a heavy military presence walking around the Souk. That quiet ended last night!
We had just sat down to supper when a call came that the radical Israeli settlers were attacking a family home in al-Bowereh near to the Israeli outpost settlement. The team was asked to go out to check on the situation and stay with the family if it was called for. It seems two actions had taken place: the settlers had put up a roadblock and were throwing stones at the people from that vantage point.
The place we were called to had for an hour and a half endured stones being catapulted at them from the hilltop outpost Fortunately they landed on their roof. One of their boys showed us the stones and in the morning we saw their hot water heating panels all covered with mesh wire to protect them from stoning. The family also showed us a broken window from two weeks before.
Last evening’s incident happened around 6:30, which would mean after sunset and the beginning of the Sabbath.
The purpose of this behavior is to terrorize the three families who live under the same roof, into moving so the settlers can take over their property.
When we arrived the families had all rallied, and eager to share their latest encounter. They were delighted that we would be willing to stay with them overnight. Indeed, if nothing else, we did provide a big distraction for them.
As soon as we returned in the morning, the team sent out a twitter alert that was picked up almost immediately. Reports were written up and calls made to alert those with whom we work closely.
– Sister Jean Fallon, MM