Settler Attack in the Beqa'a
By Bourke Kennedy
As dusk settled over the Palestinian fields and homes in the Beqa'a
men in kippahs began to gather at the intersection of route 60 and the road
leading to Givat Ha Harsina settlement. White cars parked on the settlement
road. Women with small children in their arms, pre-teen boys and girls,
teenaged boys and men carrying M-16s continued to swell the settler ranks to
around 100 people.
They lit two bonfires on Route 60 opposite the settler road. There
singing and chanting-a family outing atmosphere. Suddenly, a cry went up
and the young people dashed up the street and began throwing stones at a
couple of approaching Palestinian cars.
Two Israeli police jeeps drove after the group. A loudspeaker
to desist. Some of the mob began throwing stones at a house near the road.
Another cry went up and the mob started running down route 60 in the
opposite direction. Four army jeeps joined the police vans in trying to
keep the settlers on the road. About three dozen settler youth climbed over
the guard rails and began breaking off sprinkler heads and
cutting irrigation pipes in the surrounding vineyards. They threw what they
had pulled up into the bonfires. They then set a bonfire in the vineyards
and the mob cheered.
Two hours later, most of the settlers had gathered near the Kiryat
Arba road. Police and army vehicles began a "round up" and slowly
drove the settlers back --women, children, people on bikes, people
with M-16s, some singing, some laughing, some chanting--to the
intersection where they began their ascent to their homes on the Givat
Ha Harsina hill.
CPT Hebron has maintained a violence reduction presence in Hebron
since June of 1995 at the invitation of the Hebron Municipality.
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is an initiative among
Mennonite and Brethren congregations, and Friends meetings who
support violence reduction Teams around the world. Contact CPT
at P.O. Box 6508 Chicago, IL 60680 USA; Tel: 312-455-1199;
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"The Sign of God is that we will be led where
we did not plan to go." --Levely