In October I will also be trying to foster grassroots links with grassroots organisations in the Jordan valley region, the most fertile area of the West Bank in danger of annexation by the Israeli state suffering from exploitation by Israeli and international corporations...
Israeli Colonists Steal Palestinian olives in Tel Rumeida
Tel Rumeida, Hebron
For the duration of the week the streets of Tel Rumeida, close to the illegal Israeli-Jewish colonies of Tel Rumeida and Beit Hadassah have been adorned with Israeli flags, slogans and orange ribbons (signifying support for the settler movement)
On Monday over a thousand Israeli visitors descended on Tel Rumeida for the Succot holiday while Palestinian religious freedom was restricted at the Ibrahimi mosque. Soldiers escorted settlers in a march into Hebron’s Old City, an illegal invasion supported by the army. Palestinian civilians were cleared out of the way with tear gas and sound grenades.
Twice this week, internationals have witnessed Israeli colonists from Tel Rumeida settlement harvesting olives belonging to Palestinians. The Palestinians are afraid to harvest the olives because of their proximity to the caravans of Tel Rumeida settlement, whose residents are involved in constant violence and harassment against Palestinian civilians.
On Wednesday, on two separate occasions, internationals were attacked and abused by settler children close to Beit Hadassah.
The people of Tel Rumeida are anxious that they will be able to access their trees during the olive harvest season this year.
Tuesday, 10 October 2006
At approximately 2pm two Human Rights Workers (HRWs) at the top of Tel Rumeida Street noticed that a small group of Palestinian boys were talking to the soldiers stationed at the guard post there. Shortly afterwards, a Palestinian HRW arrived and asked the boys what the matter was, and one boy, aged approximately 9, said that the soldier at checkpoint 56 (which controls the main entrance between the H2 area, which is controlled by the Israeli army, and the H1 area which is -at least theoretically- controlled by the Palestinian Authority) had shortly before demanded money from him as he passed through the checkpoint, taken one Shekel from him and then slapped him on the back of the neck. As the soldiers at the checkpoint change shifts at 2pm, the boys and the Palestinian HRW waited for the solider in question to come up Tel Rumeida hill to return to the IOF (Israeli Occupation Force) base. When questioned, the solider claimed that he had joked with the boy about taking money from him, but that it had been only a joke and that he had not hit the child. Two of the HRWs offered to give the boy a Shekel but the boy insisted he only wanted his money back from the soldier. The soldier refused to give the boy one Shekel and left the scene.