Friday, March 9, 2012

International observers threatened with arrest & death by Israeli Army's Golani Brigade in Hebron

Photo taken from CPT video footage (bottom of post).
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) claimed in a press release yesterday that it has been threatened with arrest and death by the Israeli armies Golani Brigade since publication of their report, Under Attack: Golani Brigade's war on the Palestinian population of Al-Khalil (Hebron). The report documents the recent escalation of human rights abuse in Al Khalil. These threats are an attempt to prevent CPT and other international organizations from continuing to document ongoing human rights abuses, including violence and harassment, committed by soldiers against the civilian population of Al Khalil.

Christian Peacemaker Teams sent delegations to the U.S.-Mexico border in past years. Some delegation members have remained as ongoing activists involved in a variety of border issues and challenges.

According to International law and Israeli law, international observers have the right to document the actions of soldiers unless their presence interferes directly with the military. Members of CPT say they have made it clear that they are present in Al Khalil merely to document, but have been told by soldiers that they are subject to arrest whenever they attempt to follow military patrols through residential areas, film, or remain present during searches or interrogations of civilians. Yet twice in recent weeks, they say, soldiers threatened to shoot or kill a CPT member. In multiple instances soldiers used the threat of arrest to prevent CPT from observing and documenting incidents which included the detention or intimidation of children.

Summary of Incidences follows verbatim, as provided by CPT

1) Incidences when CPT was threaten with arrest while attempting to observe the Israeli Armys Golani brigade:
  • On February 14,at around 4:00 PM two people from CPT encountered a patrol of eight Golani soldiers in the Old City. The soldiers told them that if they attempted to follow the patrol they would be arrested. The soldiers body searched two men against a wall in Bab al Baladiya, and then stopped a 12 year old boy, who was headed for the Ibrahimi mosque and was carrying a large plastic bag of folded tissues. After being ordered by the Soldiers, the boy opened the top of the bag. The soldiers then ripped the bag open and then took him by the coat and lead him out of sight of CPT. The soldiers told CPT members that if they attempted to follow they would be arrested. The boy was held for about 15 minutes out of the sight of internationals and was then released.
  • On February 18 around 4:00 PM, Golani soldiers in Bab al Baladiya detained 4 youths, age 12-17, and began to take them through the Old City. The soldiers wanted to know were the boys lived. Two people from CPT were present and followed the soldiers, along with the mother of one of the boys. The soldiers used their rifles to shove the mother and CPT back, and repeatedly told CPT and the mother that if they continued to walk with them they would be arrested. The soldiers took the boys into a nearby settlement and then to the Kyriat Arba police station. They were later released.
  • On February 20th at around 8:30 AM, CPT encountered a group of four Golani soldiers who were stopping people and checking IDs in the shopping area of the Old City. After checking IDs for about 45 minutes, the soldiers were joined by four more soldiers and the patrol moved up into the nearby residential streets. When members of CPT attempted to follow 20 meters behind the patrol, the soldiers threatened them with arrest. CPT explained that they were not intending to interfere with the soldiers and the soldiers told them, "We are the law and we say you cannot follow us."
  • On February 20th at around 6pm, soldiers detained a Palestinian photographer and an international observer at checkpoint 56 for 1 hour for taking pictures. The soldiers told CPT that if they took photos of the detention they would be detained and arrested.
  • On February 26th at around 4 PM a patrol of six Golani soldiers stopped four young boys above Baba al Baladiya and took them up into the residential area above the bus station. They told a member of CPT that he could not follow and would be arrested if he continued. The soldiers were showing the boys photos on a camera and asking who was in the photos and where the people lived. Another member of CPT approached from another direction and met the soldiers and the boys near the Spanish academy. The soldiers again told that member of CPT that she would be arrested if she approached them.The children were then released.
  • On March 3rd two people from CPT attempted to follow a patrol of 12 Golani soldiers in the old city in the late afternoon but were told if they continued they would be arrested.
  • On March 6th at around 3PM, A Golani patrol took 2 young boys (about 10 years of age) up to the rooftop of a Palestinian home in the old city to interrogate them. Two CPT members followed them to the roof to observe the incident. The CPT members were told to go down or they would be arrested. The boys were released after a few minutes and told CPT the soldiers wanted to know who was throwing stones at the soldiers and who was breaking windows at the settlement

2) Incidences when Israeli Armys Golani Brigade threatened to shoot and/or kill CPT:
  • On February 25th at around 3:30 PM during the weekly tour of Israeli settlers through the Old City, Golani soldiers told CPT and other international observers that they had to be back 15 meters from the soldiers. CPT moved back and continued to observe, whereupon a soldier ran forward towards CPT and International observers, aimed his rifle at them, and said, I want to shoot you through the head with a bullet.
  • On February 5th, around 7:30 AM, a member of CPT stopped to observe a Golani soldier yelling at two Palestinians from the roof top. When the CPTer remained to watch, the soldier told CPT to leave. CPT responded by saying "No." The soldier then pulled out his gun, looked through the scope, and pointed it at the CPT member and told him to leave again and motioned with his gun. The CPT member left the sight of the solider and returned with a camera. The soldier then stopped pointing his gun at the CPT and left the viewing area of the CPT member.
Source: Christian Peacemaker Teams

YouTube video entitled "Israeli Soldiers Threaten Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron" posted October 2011 on The History and Facts channel purports to show CPT video of Israeli soldiers threatening arrest of observers.

1 comment:

fan of Gaia said...

Israel has been on the defensive ever since the modern state was formed. This does not give them the excuse to flaunt international laws and laws of simple humanity.