As children headed home after a day of exams, some boys threw stones and the Israeli military repeatedly fired tear gas. The clouds of gas enveloped everyone on the street. A young man tried to shelter a little girl; a teacher led his pupils along the street; and CPTers gave wet wipes to small children and adults.
A threatening smell
The Israeli military drove this skunk water vehicle through Qitoun/209 checkpoint, around the area, and then back to the checkpoint, where it remained throughout the time children and teachers were making their way to school. A border police officer stopped these two boys and interrogated them next to the smelly vehicle. (Skunk water is sprayed in Palestinian neighborhoods as a form of collective punishment.)
Who will be next?
Photos of young Palestinians killed since October adorn the solidarity tent established by bereaving families who continue to demand and await the return of their loved ones' bodies. The question mark below these two teenage boys conveys the community's shared anxiety: Who will be next?
Routine stop and frisk
On patrol in the Old City, CPTers witnessed Israeli soldiers and police body search five men (four of whom are pictured here) with no provocation. They also stopped several vehicles, three of which were searched.
The start of Shabbat on the Prayer Road
As settlers from Kiryat Arba made their way to worship, Israeli soldiers stopped, ID checked, and body searched Palestinian men of all ages, including this young man with his horse. Before being allowed to proceed, the Palestinians were ordered to stand at a distance while groups of settlers passed. This young man was also told to walk with his horse rather than riding it.
Lengthy checks at the Ibrahimi Mosque checkpoint considerably delayed worshippers on their way to Friday noon prayers. During much of the delay the worshippers sang together in prayer.
Celebrating in Bethlehem
CPTers went to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve to join in the celebrations. A highlight was the parade of the scout bands, featuring boys, girls, young men and women. This boy was one of the scouts walking proudly with his friends.