Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

With the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron: Settler Assaults Guest of Hebron Peacemaker Team

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

With the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron: Settler Assaults Guest of Hebron Peacemaker Team

Article excerpt

WITH THE CHRISTIAN PEACEMAKER TEAM IN HEBRON: Settler Assaults Guest of Hebron Peacemaker Team

Bonnie Gehweiler is a member of the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron, where it has maintained a violence-reduction presence since June 1995 at the invitation of the Hebron municipality.

Around 12:00 p.m. on Aug. 29, the team in Hebron received a call that settlers were attacking vendors in the vegetable market (as typically happens when the Israeli military lifts the curfew there).

Dianne Roe and British activist Angie Zelter, on a week's visit with the team, went to investigate. As they approached the market, they saw a group of young settler women trying to enter, with soldiers trying to prevent them. The young women called Zelter and Roe "Nazis." Zelter then saw one of the girls throw a rock at a 75-year-old man, which hit him in the back of his head, causing profuse bleeding.

Roe left to escort the old man to his home and Zelter continued to take pictures of the settler actions. She wrote in her statement to the police, "I could see a group of around 15 or so, mainly female, settler children in their early/mid teens screaming and throwing rocks. I asked the soldiers to stop the violence and I tried to appeal to some of the kids to stop the violence. I then noticed an armed man in a white shirt with a long black beard and glasses...and asked him to try and stop the kids throwing rocks because people were getting hurt, and tried to explain I had just witnessed an old man being badly hurt. He started screaming at me, `You fascist whore,' `f---ing Nazi,' `Go home,' the `Christians murdered the Jews'...

"As I was trying to take photos of the violence going on all around and also asking him to try to stop it rather than letting it go on, he screamed that he had to suffer while the filthy Arabs took over his land and how he couldn't go certain places because of them, how they should all be killed. This may have taken only a couple of minutes, but as he continued to scream at me more kids were gathering around and shouting out, `Nazi, Nazi,' and he got angrier and...

"One of his hands was clenched on his gun, which was held slung in front of him, and it was jerking up and down. He suddenly came at me `to teach me,' and hit me on the right hand side of the head. …

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