Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Shepherd made homeless, livelihood threatened, son in prison.

A troubling, yet disgustingly run-of-the-mill, story from Hebron.

Monday 18th October 2010

Al-Khalil (Hebron) -- Noah El-Rajabi is a shepherd, with two hundred sheep and goats. He lives in Bani Na'im,17 kilometres from Hebron. He is married, and has seven children.

Bani Na'im is under Israeli military and civil control.

Ten weeks ago the Israeli military demolished his house. His wife and younger children now live in two rented rooms in Hebron. Noah and his oldest son lived in a tent supplied by the Red Cross, so that Noah could continue to work with his flock.

On Monday 11th October, at 8.00 a.m. the Israeli military arrived without warning and destroyed his water cistern, his tent, and a small wooden structure Noah used for cooking and storage.

His oldest son, aged 14, who was with Noah, protested at the soldiers' action, and was arrested. His son is accused of assaulting two soldiers. Noah reports that soldiers kicked and beat some of the animals and that one pregnant ewe aborted.

CPTers met Noah in Hebron on Tuesday morning 12th October. He did not know where his son was being held, and where he could get water for his animals.

CPTers accompanied Noah to three Israeli police stations. The only information Israeli police gave was that his son was being held in Ofer military prison. They refused to accept a complaint against the Israeli soldiers for their behaviour.

CPTers also visited Noah's rented accommodation in Hebron. They met his wife and some of his younger children. 'Please bring my son home', his wife pleaded.

The animals are being looked after by Noah's brother, and have been moved to another hillside, where there is water. Agencies in Hebron are trying to reconnect Noah's water supply, but the cistern will have to be restored, and will run the risk of further demolition orders in the future.

CPT Al-Khalil is deeply concerned about the number of children who are being detained by the Israeli army and police. For further information on the imprisonment of Palestinian minors by the Israeli military, please refer to the annual reports of Defence for Children International (Palestine): www.deci-pal.org Go to 'publications', and then to 'Palestinian Child Prisoners' June 2009

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