Sophia's Peace Work

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Though there is no word on our four CPT friends who remain kidnapped in Baghdad, CPT in Isreal/Palestine faces problems of its own. In a recent press release, the Hebron team in the southern West Bank, tells of how the Israeli military invades the CPT apartment, arrested the team and how team computers and equipment went missing immediately afterwards.

Israeli military patrols have been invading Palestininan homes in the Old City of Hebron for some time. When they can, CPT attempts to film these home invasions and often the CPT apartment and office are also invaded and searched, without showing any authority to do so. Here is an excerpt from their recent press release:

"The Israeli soldiers gave conflicting answers to questions about whether they were invading the home on their own initiative or if they had orders to do so. Their responses included: "we are looking for terrorists/guns," "you disturbed us yesterday," and "because we can." CPTers reminded the soldiers that CPT has demonstrated our absolute commitment to nonviolence over ten years in Hebron, and that they would be welcome to come anytime without their weapons. When soldiers still insisted on entering with weapons in hand, CPTers videotaped the searches."


On Thursday, December 29th, the patrol entered the CPT apartment again.

""Walking around the apartment, the soldiers showed interest in a bowl of old sound grenades, used tear-gas canisters, rubber-coated bullets and shells
that past CPTers picked up from the streets in Hebron. The soldiers passed these items around, and then one decided that the two or three dented cartridges constituted weapons. He explained that possession of weapons in this part of Hebron is prohibited, but when questioned by a CPTer the soldier corrected himself that Israelis are permitted to carry weapons in this part of Hebron. CPTers pointed out that it would be dangerous or impossible to place those bullets into a gun.

A second patrol of six Israeli soldiers, including the captain, arrived. The captain collected the passports of all five CPTers present, and called the Israeli police. The police collected the display casings, shells and bullets and arrested John Lynes, Sarah MacDonald, Rich Meyer, Grace Pleiman and Harriet Taylor. On leaving the apartment, CPTers locked the doors. As Meyer called a friend to tell her that the CPTers were all being removed from the apartment, the captian interrupted to assure Meyer there was nothing to worry about at the apartment; no one would enter."


But when CPTers Art Gish and Kathie Uhler, who where away when the search and arrests were made, returned to the apartment 90 minutes later, they found the street door open, the office door forced and computers, camera equipment and cellphones missing, even though an Israeli soldier was posted on the roof of the house across from CPT's house the entire time. And hour later, the five CPTers arrested were released and returned home.

7 Comments:

  • Hey, Sophia. Thank you for keeping up with your blog - I'm sure it is a lot more work than you need, but I do find it a valuable place to come once in a while. You are doing good and necessary things and your blog lets those of us who are keeping warm at home understand a little better what is going on in the Middle East.
    I'm an educational psychologist here at McGill, I train grad students in school and counselling psychology - if I can be of assistance to you in any way, or to your friends, please let me know.
    Thanks again, keep up the good work.

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  • Hmmm, I clearly need to screen these comments ... geez louise!

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