Monday, January 30, 2017

A Case Study of the Despicable Jewish Israeli Squatters in Hebron (2003)

Much of this material has been taken from: “Land Grab” Israel’s Settlement Policy in the West Bank, May 2002, a publication of B’TSELEM – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories; Tikkun Magazine; Americans for Peace Now; the Foundation for Middle East Peace; and Christian Peacemaker Teams CPT;; Healing Israel/Palestine by Michael Lerner.  There has been no independent attempt to verify the facts presented  – for any formal legal action, a significant amount of additional research would be required.

1968 - April 13, 1968,  From the website of the Jewish Israeli residents of Hebron entitled “The Return to Hebron”  “Wanted: Families or singles to resettle ancient city of Hebron For details contact Rabbi M. Levinger” This unassuming newspaper advertisement captured the attention of many Israelis in 1968. The euphoria of the Six Day War had subsided, Judea and Samaria were in Jewish hands, and yet, no Jews had made their homes this area. Rabbi Moshe Levinger and a group of like-minded individuals determined that the time had come to return home to the newly liberated heartland of Eretz Yisrael. As their first goal, the group decided to renew the Jewish presence in the Jewish People’s most ancient city, Hebron. Word of the decision spread quickly and soon a nucleus of families was formed. Their objective: to spend Pesach in Hebron's Park Hotel. … the Park Hotel's Arab owners were delighted to accept the cash-filled envelope which Rabbi Levinger placed on the front desk. In exchange, they agreed to rent the hotel to an unlimited amount of people for an unspecified period of time. The morning of Erev Pesach, April, 1968 saw the Levinger family along with families from Israel's north, south and center packed their belongings for Hebron. They quickly cleaned and kashered the half of the hotel's kitchen allotted to them and began to settle in. …. Eighty-eight people celebrated Pesach Seder that night in the heart of Hebron. “We sensed that we had made an historical breakthrough", recalls Miriam Levinger, and we all felt deeply moved and excited". Two days later, Rabbi Levinger announced to the media that the group intended to remain in Hebron. Dignitaries, Knesset members and Israelis from far and near streamed to the Park Hotel to encourage the pioneers. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan was anxious to remove the pioneers from the hotel. He suggested that they move to the military compound overlooking Hebron. A heated debate ensued. There were those who felt that moving to the compound would in effect, strangle the project. Others saw in Dayan's suggestion official recognition, albeit de facto, of their goal.  Six weeks later, the pioneers moved to the military compound. Rabbi Levinger insisted on accommodations for 120 people even though they numbered less than half at that time. Rabbi

Levinger was accused of being an unrealistic dreamer. Within a few short weeks however, he was proven correct. The 120 places in the military compound could not accommodate the hundreds of people who wanted to be part of the renewed of Jewish life in Hebron, city of the Patriarchs. "We received Eretz Yisrael on a silver platter in 1967", explained Miriam Levinger. "It was an honor and a privilege to be among the first people to make the dream of return a reality."

1968  – A new religious group, Gush Emunim (block of the faithful) argued that it was forbidden for Jews to return land to the Arabs, and that the outcome of the war was a product of divine intervention.  These “modern-Orthodox created settlements in the West bank and pushed the agenda of Israeli expansionism.  Over the next 25 years, the Gush Emunim movement encouraged some 120,000 Israelis to settle in the West Bank and Gaza, sometimes buying land, but often occupying and expropriating land from Palestinians.

1995 Christian Peacemakers Term – CPT Hebron Chronology 1995-2001  including entries such as”August 1995 - The team spends much of the month visiting and increasing their visibility on Dubboya Street. They become particularly involved with the family of Shakir Da'na, whose house is stoned three-four times a week by his neighbors: settlers in Kiryat Arba. Work includes talking with Israeli police and the military, and connecting Shakir with Israeli legal help and journalists. The team proposes that they spend a night on Shakir's roof or on the hillside inside Kiryat Arba from where the stones are usually thrown, but Shakir refuses to allow the team to put themselves at risk in this way.”

2001 (?)  From the website of the Jewish Israeli residents of Hebron ( “What is Tel  Rumeida – Tel Rumeida is the Arab name for the Jewish neighborhood called Admot Ishai, or Tel Hebron.  This is the site of Biblical Hebron, home of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Fascinating excavations have revealed artifacts over 4000 year old! Today seven families live in this neighborhood, in caravan (trailer) homes. Construction of permanent housing is underway. (underlining supplied)

2001 Christian Peacemakers Term – CPT Hebron Chronology 1995-2001 including entries such as May, 2001 “Palestinian residents of Tel Rumeida are harassed by Israeli soldiers and concerned about expansion of the adjacent Israeli settlement. On May 7, team members visit a doctor who reports that soldiers stationed on his rooftop throw garbage into his yard, and they have poured urine on the family’s clothes drying on the roof. He says the soldiers attacked and beat him on April 25, and the army refused to take his complaint. The Israeli high court in Jerusalem issues a stop work order on settler apartments under construction over an archaeological site on Tel Rumeida. However, on May 24, Adas, Holmes and Montgomery document construction still in progress.

2001 Summer -“A Report from the Mean Streets of Hebron” by Kathleen Kern  - Nov/Dec 2001 Tikkun Magazine “I have worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron since 1995. (in the) summer 2001 … Teenage settler girls without fail assaulted Palestinian vendors in the vegetable market on the infrequent occasions when the Israeli military lifted the curfew there. The military would then reimpose curfew. (The rules of the game in Hebron: If Israelis are attacked by Palestinians, Palestinians are punished. If Palestinians are attacked by Israelis, Palestinians are punished.) Our British friend, a Ploughshares activist, had witnessed a girl heave a rock at a seventy-five-year-old man and then laugh as his white headscarf became soaked with blood. My friend pled with an adult male settler to stop the girls from throwing rocks. He proceeded to cover her Women in Black solidarity outfit with white globs of saliva, call her a Nazi, punch her in the head, and smash her camera. Hebron settler boys between the ages of five and twelve wandered the streets in packs stoning Palestinian passersby, their homes, and their shops, while soldiers looked on. A group of these boys assaulted Sister Anne Montgomery (age seventy-four) and I when soldiers called us over to a checkpoint and asked to see our passports. The soldiers stood there as the group of about ten boys proceeded to stone us, hit us with sticks, and throw water at us from the soldiers' water bottle. Despite our requests that the soldiers call the police, they just stood there, sometimes smiling at the boys' behavior. Using our cellphone (which the boys tried to snatch from my hands), we finally called an Israeli friend who called the police. As the blue flashing light drew near, the two oldest boys, ringleaders in the attack, ran into the settlement of Avraham Avinu. The first thing the Israeli police said to us as they got out of the van was, "We can't arrest them; they're under ten." Anne and I then watched from the safety of the police van as the boys began to push the policemen and try to grab the video camera of the officer taping their antics. It almost frightened me more than getting attacked to see that the little boys, shouting "Naziim, Naziim," knew that they could push around police officers with complete impunity. I have not seen this level of street violence since the months before the Rabin assassination in 1995. Then, we didn't take the innumerable threats to kill Rabin and Peres seriously, any more than we took offense at getting called Nazis. Now, we do.”

2002 Publication entitled Standing Idly By – Non-Enforcement of the Law on Settlers: Hebron, July 26-28. 2002 – This report contains testimony of the actions taken by settlers and soldiers after the killing of Elazar Leibowitz, a Israeli soldier, a resident of the Jewish settlement in Hebron, by Palestinians.  Eyewitness testimony describes the stabbing of Ahmad a-Natashe, age 8, and the beating of his brother Falah, age 9 and the killing of Nivin Jamjoum, age 14, by settlers. Also included is the testimony of “Soldier A”,  “I saw a group of settlers, including men, women and children, going into the yards of Palestinian homes, destroying everything in their path. They broke windows, fences, and flower pots and damaged cars.  At that stage, I saw a soldier who was on duty, standing near one of the Palestinian homes that came under attack. He did nothing.  Four other soldiers arrived a little later.  They didn’t try to stop the settlers either.”  

2003 Testimonies compiled by B’SELEM including: the Stabbing of Iyad Salhab, age 25, by settlers in Hebron on January 19, 2003; Pene Hever settler shoots at olive harvesters from Bank Na’im in October, 2002, and Theft of Olive Crop; Violence of settlers from Efrat against farmers from al-Khadr, Theft of Their Olive Crop and Uprooting of Olive Trees, October 18-19 2002.

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