September 27th, 2007
The regeneration of Issa’s house in Tel Rumeida, Hebron, carried on in earnest on Thursday to mark the anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in 1994 by settler Baruch Goldstein, in which 29 Palestinians were murdered and 125 injured. Local activists together with international Human Rights Workers (HRWs) erected a wire fence around the front of the property to deter settlers from gaining access to the property. They were forced to carry all the materials through the nearby olive groves as the Israeli Occupation Force (IOF) have set up roadblocks and closed the main road near the house. This action was set amidst the backdrop of continuing violence towards local Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the Tel Rumeida area. On Friday afternoon, Haled, a Palestinian resident of Tel Rumeida, was punched in the face by a settler just ten meters away from an IOF checkpoint.
Issa’s house was previously illegally occupied by both the IOF and Israeli settlers respectively, both causing extensive damage, before being reclaimed via the courts by its original Palestinian owners. The repossesion of the house has been met by widespread discontent amongst the local settler population who have regularly attacked the property to the extent that continual surveillance of the property by HRWs is required, as well as the installation of a bullet proof door and protection for the windows.
Once the renovation is completed it is hoped that Issa’s House will be able to provide a centre for the training of young Palestinians by local activists in the principles and methods of non-violent resistance.