HEBRON: Soldiers practice breaking and entering

September 10, 2010 No Comments

CPTnet Digest, Volume 33, Issue 5
A newsletter written by members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams
10 September 2010

At 3:30 p.m. on 24 August 2010, thirty-four soldiers gathered at the alley in front of the CPT apartment. Five soldiers stood at the entrance to the alley to keep the onlookers back while the others broke open shop and apartment doors along the street.

When the CPTers asked what they were doing, the soldiers said they were practicing how to break into shops. They broke open or damaged at least five doors along the street. They started to break into three other shops, but stopped when a shopkeeper hurried up to them, unlocked the shops, and persuaded them not to break into the remaining buildings.
At one point, some of the soldiers went back to their base and were replaced by another group of soldiers who also began practicing how to break into Palestinian shops. The soldiers left the area at 5:00 p.m. after unsuccessfully trying to break into an apartment door that a Palestinian family had welded shut.
As the soldiers left, a shopkeeper asked them who would pay for the damaged locks, but they did not answer.
The following day at 1:30 p.m., ten soldiers returned. Five soldiers again lined up at the entrance to the street to keep onlookers back. The other five soldiers brought equipment to weld shut one of the shop doors that they had broken open the day before. They said they needed to do secure the door to prevent anyone from going up to the roof where soldiers are stationed to watch the market.
One of the shopkeepers persuaded them to wait until the owner of that shop could come and talk with them. In the meantime, she asked them to fix the lock on her shop door that they had broken the day before. The soldiers did work on her door, and while they did not completely fix the broken lock, they did make it possible for her to padlock the door.
When the owner of the shop that the soldiers were planning to weld shut arrived, he assured the soldiers that they did not need to worry about anyone using his shop to gain entrance to the roof. He reminded the soldiers that his shop had always been locked until they broke the lock, and that he had been a good neighbor to the military for years.
With the help of the other shopkeeper, the man persuaded the soldiers to give him a chance to block the entrance to the roof himself. A soldier kept asking when this would happen, but the Palestinians told him they would need time to raise some money and to gather some people to help. The soldiers finally agreed to this arrangement.
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