UPDATE: HEBRON DISTRICT MAP

MAY 1997

Date: 97-06-08

From: cptheb@palnet.com (CPT Hebron)

CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAMS (CPT) UPDATE: HEBRON DISTRICT MAP - In March 1997 CPTer Cliff Kindy described a map of the district of Hebron, as seen through the eyes of cartographer Abdul (Abed) Al Hadi Hantash, who not only surveys the land but also visits with families affected by changes on the map. The following update is excerpted from two CPT interviews with Abed on May 28th and June 3rd. Cliff's original HEBRON DISTRICT MAP piece is attached for a frame of reference.

The month of May 1997 was a busy one for Israeli bulldozer operators in the Hebron district, according to cartographer Abdul (Abed) Al Hadi Hantash. Targets last month included a Palestinian cemetary in Beit Meersam and two Bedouin wells in Aramadin, both in the southwestern part of the district. Netanyahu's well-publicized announcement of a freeze on house demolitions was meaningless to the hundreds of families who are now denied entry to the land where their farming shelters are located.

SINSANA:A NEW SETTLEMENT In the southwestern corner of the Hebron District lies a village called Aramadin, where 5000 Bedoin live. On May 6 Israeli settlers and soldiers (employing Ethiopian Jews for the labor) uprooted 1200 olive trees and demolished two Bedouin wells in that area. Israel has confiscated thousands of dunnums (4 dunnums = one acre) of land for a new settlement called Sinsana. Sinsana will be located at Khallet Al Zhirat and Um Sidrah, both which are part of Aramadin village. When Abed surveyed the land on June 1 he could see that Palestinian families live in the area where the Israeli settlement is to be built. Already 15 families east of the proposed Sinsana settlement have received demolition orders. Another 50 families belonging to the Alshoo'r and Zagharneh extended Palestinian families have homes in the proposed Sinsana settlement area. In addition Palestinian families from the neighboring village of Adaharia have been denied access to their land, which the Israelis say they have already confiscated. According to Abed there is even worse news about Sinsana settlement. The military governor has announced that Sinsana will serve as a security settlement. Israeli settlers there will be armed and will guard borders.

SAMU' VILLAGE In June 1996 as Israeli bulldozers began work on a road that cut off the land on the southern side of the village of Samu' from the landowners, a protest ensued. Village youth burned a bulldozer and were subsequently arrested and incarcerated for several months. The entire village was placed under a two week curfew. SAMU' UPDATE. More than 500 Samu' families have been cut off from land. They try to harvest at night. During the daytime they are stopped.

MA'UN SETTLEMENT Villagers from Samu' and Yatta own farmlands on the outskirts of their villages. One of the settlements which is situated on village land is Ma'un. On May 23 south of Ma'un 137 families were evicted from their farm land and their tents were confiscated . (From ancient times to the present families have lived on their land in tents or summer homes during the planting and harvest seasons. They return to their villages in the winter). On April 30 a settler named Dof from Ma'un settlement put a tent in that area and planted grapes. His tent ws not confiscated. He remains there protected by Israeli security forces.

BAKAA' VALLEY In this fertile valley near between the Israeli settlements of Kiryat Arba and Givat Ha Harsina, bordering on Hebron's old city, the encroachment onto Palestinian land continues. In mid-May, Abed reported, settlers moved on to Palestinian land and tried to open a road south of Harsina. Palestinian owners slept in their fields and were able to prevent the road construction, for the time being. Settler road construction in the past has rendered land inaccessible to the land owners.

BEIT MEERSAM Along the western border of the Hebron district farmers have been cut off from their land. As in all of the border villages where Palestinian landowners are stopped at the checkpoints by Israeli soldiers, and in villages near settlements where Palestinian landowners are stopped by armed Israeli settlers , hundreds of families in the Hebron district are working their land in secret at night, risking arrest or settler assault just so they can feed their families. In some areas they discover that their crops have been burned or poisoned. Fifteen homes in Beit Meersam and three in nearby El Birah are subject to demolition. In early May the military bulldozed a cemetary in Beit Meersam.

SUMMARY

The trend in May 1997 is a devastating one for landowners. Netanyahu's announcement on May 25 that he was freezing house demolitions rang hollow to villagers who cannot even enter the land where their farming shelters are located, and cannot even grow crops to feed their families. Past experience has also shown that such freezes are temporary. Dozens of villages in the Hebron District are sharing the fate of Beit Meersam and Samu'. New settlements, expansion of old settlements, new settler roads and other unilateral Israeli activities are rendering villagers powerless. _____________________________________________________________________ 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; Fax: 312-666-2677; e-mail: CPT@igc.org To join CPTNET send an e-mail to admin@MennoLink.org and the message: Group: menno.org.cpt.news Visit us on the WEB: http://www.prairienet.org/cpt

A MORE DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE HEBRON DISTRICT MAP FOLLOWS.

Hebron District Map by Cliff Kindy 24 March, 1997

In 1967 the Hebron District consisted of 1,103, 550 dunims of land. Since the Israelis occupied the West Bank in that year, there has been a calculated takeover of the land from Palestinians. It has happened in a variety of forms and this piece will try to explain that process. Home demolitions and land confiscations are an integral part of that process.

Two large military zones covering 60,000 dunims have been carved out of the original region. In one of those areas near Al Karmal 13 farm families have received orders to move from their homes.

Two other types of extractions are nature preserves and stone quarries. Two nature preserves have been cut from the district. Although any people can benefit from the beauty of these lands, only Israelis can be given this land for housing should the zoning be changed in the future. There are three large sections that have been set aside for stone quarries for Israelis. One of those is active and the other are reserved for later use.

Settler bypass roads crisscross the district and include a security zone of 150 meters on each side of the road. In other words, any homes within that zone must be demolished, no matter how long they have been there nor how many people are made homeless. Many of those roads have been cut through prime agricultural areas even though other routes existed.

Another major source of land confiscations has been areas taken for Israeli settlements. There are 28 of these in the Hebron district. Eight of these are military settlements while the other 20 are civilian. Each of the settlements expands with security zones and extra land set aside for future expansion. It is worthwhile to note that military camps are often the first step in the process of becoming an Israeli civilian settlement. It is also important to register the fact that seven new settlements are planned, already with names and locations.

An additional item of recent interest has been the development of a defacto new "green line," the border separating Israel and Palestine. The line has moved inward, ranging from 0 to about 12 kilometers from the original line. Outside that line Palestinians are no longer allowed to farm their lands and homes existing there are scheduled for demolition. On roads that cross that new line, Palestinians are no longer allowed to pass.

Through these processes 400,000 dunims of land were taken by confiscation before the Oslo Process started and an additional 171,000 dunims in the three and a half years since the start of Oslo in September, 1993. In all, over 51% of the original 1967 district has been taken by Israel. This does not include the 15,000 dunims that will be required for the seven new settlements.

In the work of CPT Hebron we are also seeing a dramatic increase in home demolitions and land confiscations not related to the above-mentioned items of expansion. There seems to be this additional calculated policy of excluding/removing Palestinians from open areas outside of villages and cities. This is apparently an attempt to develop facts on the ground before the negotiations reach the decision point concerning these areas. If this land cleansing practice is included in our figures, there are already over 100 Palestinian homes, from just our sources, that are threatened with imminent demolition. _________________________________________________

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; Fax: 312-666-2677; e-mail: CPT@igc.org To join CPTNET send an e-mail to admin@MennoLink.org and the message: Group: menno.org.cpt.news Visit us on the WEB: http://www.prairienet.org/cpt CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAMS (CPT) UPDATE: HEBRON DISTRICT MAP - In March 1997 CPTer Cliff Kindy described a map of the district of Hebron, as seen through the eyes of cartographer Abdul (Abed) Al Hadi Hantash, who not only surveys the land but also visits with families affected by changes on the map. The following update is excerpted from two CPT interviews with Abed on May 28th and June 3rd. Cliff's original HEBRON DISTRICT MAP piece is attached for a frame of reference. _____________________________________________________________________

CPT Hebron has maintained a violence reduction presence in Hebron for almost two years 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; Fax: 312-666-2677; e-mail: CPT@igc.org To join CPTNET send an e-mail to admin@MennoLink.org and the message: Group: menno.org.cpt.news Visit us on the WEB: http://www.prairienet.org/cpt

"The Sign of God is that we will be led where we did not plan to go." --Levely