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Internationals restricted by occupation authorities, Settlers build road, Soldiers interrogate boy, Firing Zone 918, Settler vandalism
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Israel imposes new restrictions on internationals

Reflection by CPT team member
"At the airport or border, Israeli security can ask internationals to sign a paper stating that they will not enter the 'area under Palestinian Authority control' unless given military permission beforehand.  I had no intention of waiting for military permission before rejoining the team in Hebron, and I dreaded having to respond to this request. 
 
"I somehow slipped through.  Although Israeli security immediately noticed that I had been in the country multiple times and asked me to sit in a waiting room for a couple hours, they allowed me to enter without having to sign their restrictive agreement.  I thought at this point that my troubles were behind me. 
 
"However, when I got to Hebron I learned that soldiers were not allowing us to wear our 'uniforms' (red hats and gray vests bearing CPT's name and logo) in the area surrounding the Ibrahimi Mosque.  (Most of CPT's patrols are around the checkpoints surrounding the mosque.)" 

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Settlement adds access road across Palestinian land

Kiryat Arba settlers have new shortcut, cutting through Wadi Al-Hussein
CPT is monitoring the construction of a settler road that has cut through the middle of Palestinian agricultural land in Wadi Al-Hussein, on the east side of Hebron's Old City. Construction began on 17 June. The builders have not asked permission from the Palestinian land owner. The road will create a shortcut from a southwest entrance of the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba to the "Prayers' Road," which connects settlers with an Israeli tourist park and synagogue at the Tomb of the Patriarchs (also the Ibrahimi Mosque). The road will effectively confiscate a slice of Wadi Al-Hussein, which may then be annexed to Kiryat Arba.

CPT is also monitoring an evacuated Palestinian apartment block (see photo above), built by the Al-Rajabi Family, because its ownership is being disputed in Israeli courts, with Israeli settlers trying to prove that the owner sold them this building, which he denies. A settler takeover of the building (as already happened briefly before the Israeli military evicted settlers) would effectively blaze a more unrestricted corridor from Kiryat Arba to the synagogue and tourism center where Abraham is believed to have been buried. Like the new road, it would be disastrous for Palestinian residents by imposing even harsher movement restrictions, and exposing families to even higher levels of settler violence, which frequently coincides with Jewish days of worship.

Soldiers detain, interrogate child in Beit Romano Settlement

Children suspected of stone-throwing are routinely held without access to family or legal counsel, as required by International Humanitarian Law
On 16 June, CPTers found Israeli soldiers questioning young children in the street outside the CPT house. Soldiers accused them of throwing rocks up at a soldier stationed high on the rooftop of an adjacent building, from the street below. Soldiers identified a boy about eight years old, and demanded he go with them. The boy began crying and a Palestinian man intervened, trying to separate him from the soldiers.
 
CPTers photographed the incident and a soldier threatened to break their cameras. The soldiers took the boy to the nearby Israeli settlement of Beit Romano, where they took him behind the main security gate (see photo above). A woman related to the boy approached the gate and asked to see him. Soldiers refused, and she was visibly distressed.
 
The soldiers continued to question the boy an hour after they had detained him. During this time he did not have a parent, guardian, lawyer, or any sympathetic adult with him -- a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law. CPTers challenged the soldiers and asked when the boy would be released. The soldiers stated their procedure is to detain any child suspected of stone-throwing. The boy was released to the custody of the Palestinian Authority police through Checkpoint 56, and then to the custody of his parents.

CPT increases presence in "Firing Zone 918"

Anxiety overwhelms 1,000 Palestinian residents of the South Hebron Hills as a 15 July Israeli court decision approaches, which will judge whether they can be forcibly expelled.
This week several international human rights monitoring groups, including CPT, launched an effort to provide a more continuous presence in villages of Masafer Yatta that have been slated for imminent forcible expulsion by the Israeli military (labeled in red above), which intends to more fully exploit the area as "Firing Zone 918" (white area above). The action threatens more than 1,000 residents (60% of them women and children), whom the military falsely claims are "seasonal" or "nomadic" inhabitants. More than 3,000 acres (1,200 hectares) of Palestinian crop land and 12,000 heads of livestock lie within the zone.
 
For years the military has already carried out daily "live fire" training around the villages with troops, tanks, artillery and helicopters, often terrorizing villagers with night raids inside their homes, and littering the fields with hazardous unexploded ordnance. The villages of Jinba, Mirkez, Halaweh and Al-Majaz are in particular peril, with 52 of their structures under demolition orders, and with the 1949 Green Line cutting through their fields adjacent to their homes.
 
CPT and partner groups will now spend days days and nights in the Firing Zone for most of each week, prepared to monitor and document the military's abuse of Palestinian residents and their agricultural lands, as well as any demolitions of homes and infrastructure. For further information about the plight of Masafer Yatta, see This Must Be the Place as well as reports by UN-OCHA and B'Tselem.

Settlers throw bleach, spray water on families, shops

Repeatedly in the past week, residents of the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit Hadassah, located within the Hebron Old City, have vandalized merchandise and assaulted their Palestinian neighbors.
From a multi-storey building directly overshadowing one of Hebron's busiest marketplaces, the settlers of Beit Romano have long attempted to maintain an atmosphere of fear and unpredictability for surrounding Palestinian merchants and residents. On 16 June CPTers visited clothing stores upon which settlers had just thrown plastic bags full of bleach from above (see photo above). Shopkeepers reported that this has been a continuous settler tactic, in addition to spraying water from hoses down through windows and courtyards of adjacent homes. Such vandalism frequently damages and destroys merchandise, for which Palestinian family businesses receive no compensation.
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