Papers being checked on bus.
Israeli soldier questions Palestinian.
I have just found out my son has already sent out a report about our first incident in Hebron. So I shall not bore you with that.
After the incident Alan spoke about, we went back to the ISM flat. A few hours later we decided to go back out on checkpoint patrol and came across some Palestinians being held against the wall. We again spoke to the soldiers and asked what the problem was. They answered they were checking their papers.
A group of Settlers came along the road in front of the checkpoint and started shouting at the Palestinians who in turn started shouting back. It is very easy to be brave when you are carrying guns and you have Border Police surrounding you.
One of the Border Policy who looked quite evil actually grabbed a Palestinian and threw him against the wall and started violently searching him. I took camera footage of this and they started shouting at me to COME HERE, COME HERE. I refused and told them a straight NO I WAS NOT GOING THERE. They said they were doing nothing wrong and I answered WELL WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN WHAT I HAVE FILMED IF YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG? They shouted a female over who was worse that the men and she demanded GIVE ME THE CAMERA. I again refused and walked away. They came after one of the other ISMers and myself, he was also taking photographs but one of the Settlers started shouting again and they had to run back.
We stood behind a bit concrete block and took more footage of the soldiers violence against the Palestinians. They kept changing where they were to stand, they were not allowed to smoke, they were not allowed to sit but had to do everything that the soldier told them to do. It was GROSS HUMILIATION FOR THE PALESTINIANS.
The soldiers turned to see us taking more footage, and as I was videoing he ran after me. I passed my camera to one of the other ISMers who walked away, but unfortunately the soldier witnessed this and ran after him. So in turn I chased the soldier and grabbed the camera and put it down my jumper. Hoping he would not try to retrieve it, and just walked away.
We had to go a long hike to get around the checkpoint to make sure that we got the footage safely back in the flat. It was worth it because the footage is really, really good.
We went out later to do another checkpoint watch and this time there were people arrested at the 2 checkpoints. So 2 ISMers stayed at one checkpoint and I went to the other. Once I go to the checkpoint, the soldiers surrounded me and told me not to move the Captain wanted to see me. I walked away and they shouted at me STAY OR WE SHOOT. A jeep came up and I do not know if they were planning to put me in it or not, but I just kept walking up the road.
The soldier came and started shouting up to the next Checkpoint to stop this woman. At this point I met up with the other 2 ISMers and they held us all at the checkpoint.
They told us not to come back or they will arrest us. I explained that I was simply a poor women who was teaching the children English and they said okay you can come back but the other 2 cannot. A bit strange I know, but it was another checkpoint so I do not think that they really knew the story behind it.
We went out last night to keep an eye on the Settlers and see what they were up to and to try and protect the Palestinians. Apparently on a Friday night they drink a lot, and come and fire their guns and smash all the windows. We merely went to witness. It must be said that after the earlier morning I did not feel quite so brave.
As we were talking to some of the Palestinians around a bonfire the Settlers came, not just groups of men but also women all carrying guns. This is a truly scary place. They shouted and walked by us. I believe the reason they walked by was because the Border Police were actually sitting watching this from their jeep. I forgot to say that as we were walking towards where the Settlers hang out, the Israeli Police stopped and asked us WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? YOU SHOULD NOT BE HERE, THERE ARE SETTLERS HERE AND THEY ARE VERY DANGEROUS? We explained we were just tourists going out a walk and they just looked at us and shook their heads.
We again went out last night approx 11pm but there were no sign of the Settlers. We have been told that they will be out tonight in force, because there was not much happening last night.
On the lighter side I got a toy boy last night. I was checking the Mosque to see if the Border Police had changed shifts so the other Internationals could come back when I was approached by 3 young boys. They kept patting me on the back and got a bit too close for comfort. I shouted at them and I could not get rid of them and it was thanks to the Israeli Police I think for getting me out of a tight situation. I now realise that Hebron is not a place to walk in the dark. I think they actually thought they had captured a Settler. They kept shouting at the Israeli Police is she your friend? They in turn shouted back NO, NO FRIEND OF OURS.
I have spoke to 2 soldiers today, one of them telling me that he feels he should not be doing what he is doing. I said look at my badge, which says NO WAR and he said he agrees with that. He said Hebron is for the Palestinians and he is against the occupation. I told him to look up the Refuseniks Website.
Another soldider also told me that upon seeing my badge, EDINBURGH STOP THE WAR COALITION is now well know in Hebron he agreed with me.
We are going out later tonight to see what is happening. I need to go now as the Internet Cafe is waiting to go.
Take care everyone