Posts Tagged ‘Al-Shuhada Street’

During Demonstrations Demanding the Opening of Shuhada Street and Commemorating the Ibrihimi Mosque Massacre, a Number of Participants are Injured or Arrested
Hebron–Dozens of were injured Friday 2/25 when Israeli forces threw sound bombs and assaulted demonstrators at a large peaceful protest commemorating the Ibrihimi Mosque massacre, calling for the opening of Shuhada Street, and criticizing the American veto of the Palestinian call for UN Security Council condemnation of and a halt to settlement activity.

The protest was organized by Youth Against Settlements. Thousands of Palestinians and dozens of Israeli and foreign activists along with a number of Palestinian leaders (among them the Governor of Hebron Governorate Kamel Hamid, member of the Fatah Central Leadership Committee Jamal Mahsin, Head of the Palestinian initiative Mustafa Barghouthi,) participated in the demonstration after Friday prayers. The demonstration proceeded from the area of Sheikh Ali Al-Baka Mosque in the city toward the direction of Shuhada Street in the center of Hebron.

Occupation forces tried to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the eastern entrance to Shuhada Street, near the old municipality, by creating a large human chain of individuals from Special Forces. However, a large number of demonstrators managed to cross into Shuhada Street, where a number of demonstrators sat on the ground and in front of the tires of military jeeps. Soldiers attacked them, began to hit them with their hands and with the butts of their guns, pulled them away, and arrested a number of them, according to Youth Against Settlements Coordinator Issa Amro
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The protesters split up to try to enter Shuhada Street through alleyways and smaller streets. They confronted occupation forces who used excessive force against them.

Occupation forces fired gas and sound bombs and rubber bullets at demonstrators, leading to injuries. About 20 demonstrators were taken to Hebron Governmental Hospital.

According to Amro, the demonstrators chanted slogans and carried signs in Arabic, English, and Hebrew demanding from the occupying authorities the opening of Shuhada Street, which has been closed for many years. Demonstrators’ slogans praised the popular revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, and criticized the American veto of the UN Security Council condemnation of settlement activities.

Hebron Governor Kamel Hamid spoke to those in attendance, confirming the Arab nature of the city of Hebron and the opposition to the policy of settlement and discrimination practiced by the occupation in the city. He called for supporting and strengthening popular resistance to the occupation. He condemned the US veto in the Security Council. Jamal Mahsin spoke also, praising the steadfastness of the residents of Hebron, and emphasizing the necessity of national unity and the end of internal divisions.

The Israeli occupation forces closed Shuhada Street to Palestinian vehicles in 1994, after the Ibrihimi Mosque massacre, then forbade Palestinian residents to walk there in 2000, in order to provide security for the 600 Israeli settlers occupying the center of Hebron.

More than 500 stores were closed by military order in the center of Hebron, and more than a thousand store owners were forced to close their shops due to checkpoints and closures. At the same time, illegal settlers enjoy freedom of movement in the closed streets and are protected by occupation forces.

The activities of the occupation and its settlers in the city of Hebron have turned the lives of 200,000 Palestinians in Hebron into a living hell and expelled thousands from their homes.

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On 25 February 2011 activists and organizations from around the world will join together in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Hebron/ al Khaleel, through local protests that demand for the opening of Shuhada Street to Palestinians and an End to the Occupation! For more info or to organize a protest in your city please contact openshuhadastreet@gmail.com

Want to get involved? Click here for more information

Open Shuhada Street Pamphlet 2011

Open Shuhada Street – 25 Feb 2011 – Global Day of Action from Joseph Dana on Vimeo.

Shuhada Street used to be the principal street for Palestinians residents, businesses and a very active market place in the Palestinian city of Hebron/ al Khaleel. Today, because Shuhada Street runs through the Jewish settlement of Hebron, the street is closed to Palestinian movement and looks like a virtual ghost street which only Israelis and tourists are allowed to access. Hate graffiti has been sprayed across the closed Palestinian shops and Palestinians living on the street have to enter and exit their houses through their back doors or, even sometimes by climbing over neighbor’s roofs.

International Supporter Being Arrested During a Recent Protest in Hebron. Photo: Activestills.org

In 1994, following the massacre of 29 Muslims at prayer by America-Israeli settler Dr Baruch Goldstein, shops on Shuhada Street were closed and vehicular traffic prohibited on the street. Despite a court case and an admission by the Israeli government that it is illegal, the street is still closed to Palestinians 16 years later. We are focusing on Shuhada Street as a symbol of the settlement issue, the policy of separation in Hebron/al Khaleel and the entire West Bank, the lack of freedom of movement, and the occupation at large. Check back to this page for more updates regarding how you can get involved. For more background information and FAQ’s click here.