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Tel Rumeida Prepares for an Uneasy Shabbat

thewallmustfall | 06.04.2006 18:09 | Anti-militarism | Anti-racism | London | South Coast

These posts are from a Brighton based activist spending April in occupied Palestine with the International Solidarity Movement, a network of international activists set up to support Palestinian non violent resistance agaisnst Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. In these posts I will be writing short accounts of aspects of the occupation and resistance…

I am currently volunteering with the ISM in Tel Rumeida, Hebron. Internationals from the ISM and the Tel Rumeida Project stay in Tel Rumeida as witnesses to settler violence and to non-violently intervene if settlers attack.

Tel Rumeida is one of the saddest places I have been in Palestine. It is a tiny district on the outskirts of Hebron separated from Hebron proper by a permanent checkpoint across a narrow street. It feels like it should be a lively and vibrant place but Shuhada street, once lined with shops, now looks like a ghost town. It is flanked by boarded up shops and a military checkpoint at each end. Shuhada street appears empty but in fact it is still home to many Palestinian families living above deserted shops who often feel too intimidated to walk in the street.

This is because Shuhada street and Tel Rumeida street (see live alongside some of the most violent and extreme members of the settler movement in the occupied territories. These Israeli Jewish settlers live next to the Palestinian inhabitants of who have mounted a campaign of harassment against them with the desired end result of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Tel Rumeida.

International volunteers in Tel Rumeida escort Palestinian children to and from the local school. This is to provide protection from settler attacks. Settlers regularly beat and throw stones at Palestinian children, there were 12 incidents of this in December 2005 (see for monthly reports). Although the Israeli army have a huge presence in Tel Rumeida they regularly ignore such incidents. Every morning and afternoon Palestinian children must walk through a hostile neighbourhood through IDF checkpoints and barbed wire to reach their school.

Simply continuing to live in Tel Rumeida is an act of resistance for local Palestinians. In the short time I have been here I have had stones thrown at me by Settler children and have seen people spat at by the settlers. But things can get much worse, often settlers riot in Tel Rumeida hurling rocks and terrorizing the community (see

On Wednesday Israeli holiday time began and will continue until April 21st. During Israeli holidays Palestinians are particularly vulnerable to attacks from settlers, who are often joined by supporters from the wider 'settler movement'. Some of the worst attacks on Palestinians have occurred on Shabbat. I hope that Tel Rumeida will be quiet throughout the holidays but I think the international community should be watching the events in Tel Rumeida in the coming weeks…

The Wall Must Fall

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