2 February 2013 | Youth Against Settlements
We are very excited to announce the upcoming 4th annual Open Shuhada Street Campaign from 22-25 February 2013.
The Open Shuhada Street Campaign (OSC) is a Palestinian initiative, aiming to organize an International day of solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Hebron. It was started in 2010 in Hebron and international solidarity actions took place in numerous cities around the world. In 2012 more than 35 different activities were organized.
The Israeli state has imposed on the Palestinian residents of the city a regime of forced evictions, curfews, market closures, street closures, military checkpoints, subjection to military law including frequent random searches and detention without charge, and lack of protection from rampant settler violence, which has pressured approximately 15,000 Palestinian civilians to flee their homes in the Hebron city center, turning it into a virtual ghost town.
The Israeli occupation forces closed Shuhada Street to Palestinian vehicles in 1994, after the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, and then Prevented 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.
On 25 February 2013 activists and organizations from around the world will join together in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Hebron/ al Khaleel, through local protests and actions that demand for the opening of Shuhada Street to Palestinians and an End to the Israeli Occupation!
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.
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.
If you would like to organize and be part of OPEN SHUHADA STREET CAMPAIGN 2013 in your city or your University campus please get in touch with us at [email protected]. Also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
OSC offers ordinary people around the world an opportunity to partake in something truly global. If you would like to get involved and organize your own OSC event or action let us know so that we can share with you the OSC Basis of Unity and organizing principles. Here are some ways that you can actively get involved:
- Demonstrations, Marches, Vigils, Flashmobs
- Organize a film screening about Hebron
- Arrange a lecture, workshop,Presentation
- Organize a BDS action
- Join us online
- Photo Exhibitions concerning Apartheid in Hebron
- Twitter: Use this hashtag #OpenShuhadaSt to spread the word and educate the masses about Hebron
- Video Message: Create and send video messages to community forums, media, and social media outlets urging the international community to use diplomatic pressure to re-open Shuhada Street
- Letter-writing and Petitions to the Israeli Ambassador and elected officials in your country asking them to intervene
- Write letters to the Palestinian Families in Hebron to show solidarity
- Close roads to show the public the effects of closing the main road in Hebron.
- Visit Hebron to gain an understanding of the situation and the daily suffering of the people living there.
- Any other non-violent activity you feel supports the cause, be as creative as possible!!
For more information please visit our website WWW.HYAS.PS