Since 1995, the struggles of the families living in Tel Rumeida have featured prominently in our releases. Accordingly, to show our readers what the new settlement expansion on Tel Rumeida means–what it means to have more Israeli settlers on Tel Rumeida with more Israeli soldiers to guard them–we will be running releases from our archives on Facebook and our blog in the coming weeks.
Note: The anecdotes below are excerpts from a much longer piece taken from the Wayback Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20010507094952/http://www.prairienet.org/cpt/archives/1995/september.txt.
CPTNET 10 September 1995
“Conversations on Deboyya Street”
by Wendy Lehman
HEBRON, WEST BANK — Since July 22, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has been maintaining a violence-deterring presence on Deboyya Street every Saturday from approximately 1 to 8 pm. This area stretches between the Israeli settlements of Beit Hadassah and Tel Rumeida. Palestinian residents of Deboyya Street have reported incidents of harassment and physical attacks by Israeli soldiers and settlers, particularly on the Sabbath (Saturday). Many Palestinians have moved out of the area because of these problems. All soldiers are armed with American-made M-16s and most settlers are armed with at least a sidearm, if not an Uzi.
. . .
At 6 pm, Kern and Sawadsky went up the road to visit Palestinian Hanni Abu Haikel who lives near Tel Rumeida settlement. Pauls and Lehman stayed near the checkpoint. Abu Haikel told Kern and Sawadsky that about a week earlier, Israeli settler Baruch Marzel told him, “We will never leave Tel Rumeida without killing all the Abu Haikel family.” Marzel is a leader in the Jewish Kach movement, also outlawed by the Israeli government and classified by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization.
Around 7:30 pm,Kern and Lehman met up with a Palestinian journalist friend and agreed to accompany him past several checkpoints and settlements to his home. As they passed the Beit Hadassah checkpoint, they encountered a soldier who had refused to let them pass two days previously unless they had an armed escort. At that time he had told them he would go to jail if he allowed them to visit some Palestinian friends.
As Kern and Lehman greeted him, Kern said, “I’m glad to see you aren’t in jail.”
“I almost went to jail today,” he said, “Because I [had a fight] with an Arab at Tel Rumeida.
“Was anyone hurt?” Kern asked.
“He[the Arab] was.”
“Is he all right?” Kern asked.
“I’m glad.” Kern responded.
“I’m not,” the soldier said.
“You are too young to let hatred destroy your life,” Kern said.
The soldier did not understand, and Kern reiterated, “When you hate other people it destroys your life.”
“Hate does not do that,” the soldier said.
“Yes, it will,” Kern responded, “But anyway, I’m glad you were not hurt.”
Later, when Kern and Lehman returned past the Beit Hadassah checkpoint, the same soldier said, “I cannot let you pass — until my commander gets here.”
As Kern and Lehman debated what to do, the soldier said, “I’m joking,” and waved them past. As they walked away, he said with a laugh, “Your keffiyahs are ugly.”