October 30, 2010

Peace group: Army occupies Hebron-area home

Ma'an - HEBRON – Israeli soldiers occupied a Palestinian home on Thursday in the Baqa’a Valley near Hebron for the third time in two months, a report from the Hebron-based Christian Peacemaker Teams said.

Family members told CPT their father collapsed when he tried to prevent the soldiers entering, and that he was taken to hospital in an ambulance. Last time soldiers occupied the house, his wife had a heart attack and died later in hospital, CPT said.

A family of 15 lives in the home, including 5 children. One son told the peace group that 17 soldiers arrived in military vehicles. A neighbor told CPT workers that he called an ambulance after hearing screams, cries and shots from the house.

International observers with the CPT said seven soldiers stationed outside the house refused to let them enter the home. A military spokesman told them the third floor and the roof of the house would be occupied for 48 hours.

Two other home were reportedly also occupied in the area, and CPT said the operation was to protect Israeli visitors to Hebron commemorating a Jewish religious event. The occupied houses provided strategic views in all directions, the report noted.

CPT observers said when they left the area, soldiers were installing floodlights and camouflage netting, and had raised an Israeli flag on the roof.


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