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Israeli military chasing Arabs from main street

February 22, 2012
By Sister Paulette Schroeder - Columnist , The Advertiser-Tribune
Promising to “work my tail off for their sakes” I return to the computer with a recent Palestinian story which urged me to write to you and to my congressmen. If people would generally know of these unjust situations, my case would rest. Annas and Noor are two of my favorite Palestinian neighborhood teenagers whose natural charm and friendliness attracted me to them immediately when I monitored the checkpoint close to their home in Old City, Hebron. Their home is one of the few Palestinian homes still existing on Shuhada Street. Before 2000, Shuhada was the most thriving Palestinian street in Hebron. Variety stores flooded the street; the street made access to the Old City Hebron shops and homes easy for the people. The economy boomed before 2000 because visitors, guests of Israeli settlers and Palestinians, could shop freely. Visitors would hear the sounds of children selling sweets, of donkeys hauling fresh fruits of oranges, apples, bananas, figs, olives, and of men and boys shouting over each other as they proudly pushed their vegetable carts loaded with huge cauliflower and cabbage heads, radishes, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, squash and almost any other vegetable a person craved. After 2000, however, the scene is very different. Now, four Israeli ideological settlements line Shuhada Street with about 400 settlers inhabiting them. It is now they who control the street while Israeli soldiers by the hundreds do their bidding and patrol the area with their M-16s. Annas and Noor live in a house owned by their ancestors. They are poor, with a family of nine children. Their father wants to hold on to this ancient house for his family, but the settlers and soldiers intend to rid this street of all remaining Palestinians. These “Arabs” stand in the way of their complete control of the street. Thus, the soldiers attacked Annas and Noor one day recently ( and, after hitting Noor’s head with their M-16s, they blindfolded him and hauled him to a military base. They interrogated Noor about beating the soldiers, but Noor insisted he was just returning home from work and beat no one. The soldiers eventually turned Noor over to the Israeli policemen, who talked with him briefly. They told Noor he would be released in 10 minutes. (International peace groups in Hebron had been calling nonstop for Noor). When Noor was released, his father and brother were waiting for him. This was the second time the Israeli military had hurt this boy. To this date, the soldiers have suffered no consequences. Every day, Palestinian parents of teenage boys worry about their sons when they leave the house to go to work or to school. The Christian Peacemaker Teams have documented such attacks on youth numerous times. Christian Peacemaker Teams have worked tirelessly for many years to make theirs and Palestinian voices heard for the sake of justice here in Hebron and throughout the West Bank which is occupied by Israeli military. To this date, the United States government will neither sanction Israel for its violations of human rights, nor will the United States discontinue its enormous outlays of military support for Israel (an average of $11 million per day!) Young men like Noor and Annas ask you for your help to make their lives safe, also. Please write to Sen. Sherrod Brown, Sen. Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Bob Latta immediately. On the Web


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