In Old Hebron, Home Is No Refuge from Political Violence


| August 20, 2001


In Old Hebron, Home Is No Refuge from Political Violence, Chris Smith, Pacific News Service
Unfortunately, reports of violence from the Middle East are nothing new. But, while we hear much about suicide bombers and helicopter missile attacks, the people of this region experience violence on a more personal basis every day. Reporting from the ancient Palestinian town of Hebron for Pacific News Service, Chris Smith reveals some of the ugly atrocities facing those living in the midst of this raging conflict. This town of 120,000 Palestinians and 450 Orthodox Jewish settlers was divided into two sections by an interim peace agreement in 1997, but that has done nothing to relieve the animosity felt by both sides. Gunshots and assaults are commonplace in these streets, and the Israeli police and Israeli Defense Force (the Israeli army) are unwilling or unable to do anything about it. A member of the Christian Peacemakers Team, an independent observer group, states 'The vast majority of violence in the area is instigated by settlers,' but a spokesman for the Israeli settler community claims that 'The Palestinians are very good at lying' and that 'it has been turned all around.' Regardless of who's most at fault, this climate of violence is no place to live.
--Al Paulson
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