Saturday, September 23, 2017

More than one hundred settlers march through Hebron for Passover

Juicebox Gallery

By Leona Vicario - March 28, 2013
TAGS:
Section: [Main News] [In Pictures]
Tags: [Hebron] [Settlers] [Passover]

Photos John Space


On March 27, almost 150 settlers took part in a march organized in the old city of Hebron due to the Passover celebration. 

During the afternoon, at least three different groups of settlers walked from the checkpoint at the beginning of Shuhada Street until they reached a house belonging to a Jewish family in Shalaleh Street, which is considered to be a holy place for them.

Strong security measures were deployed by the Israeli army and police, who stationed themselves on rooftops while others accompanied the settlers as they walked in different parts of the city in order to “protect” the settlers on their march. Two buses and three jeeps as well as many soldiers controlling the area blocked the access to Shuhada Street. 

Known as H2, the old city of Hebron is home to more than 30,000 Palestinians and approximately 600 Jewish settlers and is under full Israeli military control.

Throughout the day, the closest businesses in the area were forced to close. People started to gather near the cordoned off road and soft clashes began between Palestinians and soldiers, who shot rubber coated bullets, often used as a crowd dispersion method with lethal consequences in many cases. This time, no one was injured and the highly charged atmosphere cooled down. 

International groups as the Christian Peacemakers Teams, who observe and maintain an international presence in this tense area describe themselves as “supporting Palestinian nonviolent resistance to the occupation as well as monitoring and intervening during human rights abuses and violations, including Israeli military invasions of Palestinian homes and markets.” They followed the course of the event to ensure no violations took place against Palestinians.  

Once every year, Jews do the pilgrimage violating the Israeli law itself, that strongly forbidden the Israeli presence in Area A, which is allegedly ruled both administratively and militarily by the Palestinian National Authority. The Palestinian Occupied Territories administrative divisions established with the Oslo Agreements divided Hebron in Area A –around 80 per cent- with the remaining classified as Area C, which subsequently has turned the old city into one of the most conflictive areas of West Bank due to the occupation and settlers’ oppressive harassment. 

The Passover celebration affected the daily life of Palestinian worshippers that were prevented from accessing the Ibrahimi Mosque on Wednesday and Thursday. The scene where thousands of Jews exclusively went to the Cave of Machpela –the Jewish name for the holy site- whereas Palestinians were kept away from the divided site is just another representation of Hebron’s current apartheid situation. 

The Jewish festivity not only disrupted the everyday life for Palestinians in the old city of Hebron, but also impacted in all of the occupied territories. It was announced that West Bank would remain under closure for 48 hours from midnight Sunday March 24 until midnight Tuesday March 26, corresponding to the Passover Eve and the first day of the holy celebration. 

"Persons in need of medical attention, humanitarian aid or exceptional cases will be permitted to pass for care, with the authorization of the Civil Administration," was the official statement by Israeli authorities. 




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