by Kathy Kamphoefner July 10, 1997

From: cpt@igc.apc.org

Clashes have occurred almost the entire last month, with only about four days rest. These clashes usually involve young boys throwing stones either at Israeli Defence Force soldiers' posts or in the direction of the Israeli Beit Hadassah settlement in the center of the old city of Hebron. The soldiers respond with rubber-coated bullets and sound bombs.

Because the Hebron Israeli settlers have frequently attacked their Palestinian neighbors with stones, eggs, and occasionally with live bullets, because they aim to take over the entire city, because they harass their neighbors in every conceivable way, the Israeli settlers have engendered a great deal of hostility here. Most Palestinians here say that there cannot be peace in Hebron until the settlers are removed from this city, because the settlers don't want to live in peace.

For CPT's work here, it is therefore important that we not be mistaken for Israeli settlers, many of whom are U.S.-born.

I was walking home through the old market one day last week. I was just a few feet away from our door, when a baseball-sized rock clanged loudly against the wall,directly behind me. Frightened, I began yelling in Arabic, "Who threw that? Why did you throw a stone at me? I'm not a settler! I'm not Jewish! I'm an American! I'm a Christian."

Two middle-aged Palestinian women stopped in the street and asked, "Are you hurt?"

"No, the stone didn't hit me--it just scared me. It hit the wall next to me. See, there is the stone," I said.

"Who threw that stone at you?" they asked with concern.

"I don't know. One of those boys," I said, pointing to a handful of boys hanging out in front of the chicken shop on the corner.

One of the women scolded the nearest boy. "Did you throw that stone?" The boy denied it. "Well, you know who threw it," the woman insisted. The boy nodded. "It's not important whether the person is Jewish, or Arab, or African, or Chinese. You shouldn't throw stones at people," the woman said to the boys. "You tell all of them that," she insisted. "It's shameful to throw stones at human beings."

Christian Peacemaker Teams PO Box 6508 Chicago, IL tel. 312-455-1199 FAX 312-666-2677 email cpt@igc.org WEB http://www.prairienet.org/cpt/