Hebron, specially the neighbourhood we are in, between two illegal Israeli settlements, is brutally depressing. It one of those experiences where you think you are loosing your sanity. We are in a Palestinian neighbourhood, between two settlements full of quite fanatic and fearful Israeli settlers. They are so fearful they go out to the street with sub-machine guns, and they routinely stone Palestinians.

The function of the human rights observer here is to absorb the violence. Literally. Simply, to put our bodies between the Palestinians and the stones, as dialogue with these fanatics is absolutely impossible. They shout at us, they call us Nazis because for them helping Palestinians is the same as supporting terrorists because for them all Palestinians are terrorists and we do it because we hate all Jews.

This is the type of “conversations” we have had with the settlers who have deigned to talk to us. Our cameras, acting as witnesses, annoy them big time, and we try not to make them angry. We make sure that we see that the Palestinians go up the steps opposite the settlement safely, but we observe from a distance, trying not to provoke them with our presence.

The presence of international observers prevents daily stonings, although some times they can not be avoided.

In terms of “dangerousness”, the Israeli children settlers are the most dangerous, more so than the adult settlers, who are not so dangerous as the children but who are more dangerous than the soldiers.

The reason for this is the criminal impunity the children enjoy. An Israeli minor does not have criminal responsibility; they can not even be arrested. I have narrated how some Israeli children settlers threw stones at us while we were helping some peasants to pick up their olives. Today it is Hebron where I am stoned.

I am “on patrol” in the lower street of the neighbourhood, between the checkpoint and the stairs that take to a Palestinian school and homes, when at about three, when the settler kids leave the school-nursery that is just at the bottom of the stairs, I notice that some settler children are in that area, throwing stones towards the stairs, which I can not see because of the “do not provoke them” issue. They seem to be shouting at the stairs and I understand they are either stoning some Palestinian or just playing, or both. I have seen no Palestinian approach the stairs from the street at the bottom but, just in case there is someone coming down from upstairs, I approach the area.

When they realise I am approaching them with my camera, they change their target. As soon as they see me they start to scream at me and throw stones at me – about five stones, the size of a thumb. I start to film them but shortly into the recording my tape runs out. While they are stoning me, the woman they have been stoning so far just runs away back to her home. She probably will have to arrange for her family to eat somewhere else, if she can’t do her daily shopping because of this. At least she has not been stoned – much.

I look at the soldier at the checkpoint that is opposite the stairs, who has seen it all, but now he is talking on the phone. When he finishes I ask him: “What are you doing about this? They are throwing stones at me”, but he does not even look at me. His only function is to defend the Israelis from the Palestinians, therefore it is not his job to defend Palestinian women who are stoned by Israelis.

There is no one coming down the stairs or approaching them from the street, so I just leave the scene.

At the end of the shift D. comes and says that he can not believe that this has been a Saturday, because only my stoning and another two have happened today, and otherwise it had been very quiet, which is not usual at all on a Saturday.