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Commentary :: Human Rights : International
Chokehold on Hebron: A Letter from Palestine
09 Jun 2005
A letter from Molly Little, Rhode Island peace activist, who is spending her summer as a witness to the Isreali occupation of Palestine.

May 26, 2005- It is midday on the main street of Hebron. Just moments ago we were surrounded by the sounds and smells of the market— coffee and spices, kids on bikes and men pushing carts of produce, people buying groceries. Now, quite suddenly, the place is silent. The stores are boarded up; the streets are deserted. Where once this section, like the rest of Hebron, bustled with the daily life of families, now the only sounds we hear are the footsteps of the six Israeli soldiers who follow us as we walk. Occasionally their rifles click against their belts, but we know better than to turn around, or to appear afraid. It is our Palestinian guide, a small, wizened man whom we met at a hostel in Jerusalem, who ought to be afraid. But he leads the way for us—three Americans who are here to try to understand life under occupation— without looking back.
Chokehold on Hebron; a Letter from Palestine
Hebron, which is the burial place of Abraham and Sarah, and which is among the holiest sites in the Middle East, has been one of the most contested areas in Palestine since the first Israeli occupation (known by Palestinians as “El Nakba,” or “The Catastrophe”) of the country in 1948. Then the 1997 Oslo II Agreement (in a segment postponed from the 1994 agreement) divided the city into two sections—H1 and H2, with H2 under the control of Israel. Now, the Palestinians who live in H2 face daily attacks by the settlers, many of whom are from New York. We meet two other Westerners who are here with the Christian Peacemakers Team. One man, who is from Britain and who introduced himself as John, has been in Hebron for the last three years. He is at least eighty-five years old and walks with a cane, but he is here to accompany Palestinian children on their way to school. Settlers and Israeli schoolchildren, he tells us, throw stones at the Palestinian children. Last week two CPT accompaniers were attacked by settlers in masks who carried tear gas and baseball bats; one CPT member escaped with a punctured lung, another, with a broken arm. As we walk through the silent streets of the city, we notice that chicken wire has been hung between the rooftops of the lower section of buildings, where Palestinians live and work. The chicken wire hangs just inches from our heads; it is heavy with rocks and piles of trash. Why, we ask? The Israelis occupy the upper levels of the buildings, we are told. When the Palestinians walk to work or to school, the settlers throw rocks and trash at them.

As we walk back towards H1 and the sounds of life, our guide takes us to the tomb of Abraham and Sarah; on the way, we pass the silent gaze of soldiers—at every corner, on nearly every rooftop, down every street. I look at one and feel my chin lift in anger; in response, he nonchalantly lifts his gun and points it toward us. We reach the famous tomb, and we know that, just a few years ago, Baruch Goldstein (an American settler from New York) entered the adjacent mosque and massacred 28 people as they prayed. A week ago, a 14 year old girl was shot a few blocks away from the mosque by an IDF soldier who claimed that she did not stop walking when he told her to wait. She was
shot twice in the stomach and chest, and was taken to Hadassa Hospital in Jerusalem for treatment. A few days later soldiers came to the hospital and arrested her. Her family has still not been told what prison she was taken to,or why.

In H2, today, we are struck again by the strange silence in this ancient place. The peace of the peace agreements in Hebron is the peace of the tomb. It is the peace of a city under slow strangulation, and we are paying the taxes for the chokehold.
Chokehold on Hebron; a Letter from Palestine
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Chokehold on Hebron; a Letter from Palestine

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Photos of Hebron
10 Jun 2005
Some photos of the situation in Hebron from my summer there in 2004. SHould give some light to some of the things Molly is mentioning.

The last photo is settler graffiti, it reads... "what is the difference between an arab and a trampoline? On a trampoline you jump without your shoes"

See also:
Re: Chokehold on Hebron: A Letter from Palestine
13 Jun 2005
To call any part of Israel "Palestine" is an absolute insult to every Jew in the world. Read your bible (Old Testament). That land is theirs (Israel).
The only reason they leave any land (Gaza) is in the hope of a little peace. Which we all know will not happen.
Re: Chokehold on Hebron: A Letter from Palestine
14 Jun 2005
Re: Chokehold on Hebron: A Letter from Palestine
15 Jun 2005
The Cave of the Patriarchs must remain part of Israel.
qgospxkat travl
06 Jun 2006
yusmloix ntui nfewabqo vbzdpryif qhdu wrfeoavc agtuy
qgospxkat travl
06 Jun 2006
yusmloix ntui nfewabqo vbzdpryif qhdu wrfeoavc agtuy
qgospxkat travl
06 Jun 2006
yusmloix ntui nfewabqo vbzdpryif qhdu wrfeoavc agtuy
qgospxkat travl
06 Jun 2006
yusmloix ntui nfewabqo vbzdpryif qhdu wrfeoavc agtuy
17 Jun 2006
Very cool design! Useful information. Go on!
18 Jun 2006
19 Jun 2006
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