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Hebron Military Closure Extended Until ‘Undisclosed Date’

copy of the military order for April 18
The military order for April 18. Volunteers have not been shown the current order.

On Sunday, April 16 at 20:00 the Israeli military in the H2 area of Hebron established a closed military zone order for “persons or groups disturbing the order,” effective until April 18 at midnight. At 7:00 in the morning on April 19, the order was said by the military to have been extended until an undisclosed date.

This order, in practice, has been applied to human rights organizations and individual human rights observers, including ISM, the Eccumenical Accompaniment (EAPPI), the Christian Peacemaker Team, and the Tel Rumeida Project. Individuals from these organizations have been seized from the Shuhada street area in H2 and escorted to the H1 area, or forced to stay inside of their homes.

The order was originally justified by the military as being a special precaution taken for the holidays. However, the closed military zone order has been extended beyond the period of the Passover celebration. The presence of international human rights observers within the H2 area has proven to be an effective deterent to settler violence over the past several years. These well-established, internationally recognized organizations are currently being prevented from maintaining an active presence in the streets of H2, and we are deeply concerned by the potential threat this will cause to Palestinian lives.

Elizabeth Detwiler
International Human Rights Observer, Hebron
(052) 598-4344