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Demonstration to re-open Shuhada Street returns to Hebron

25 December 2010 | Youth Against Settlements

Saturday, in the city of Hebron, Israeli occupation forces suppressed an anti-settlement movement in the city to reopen Shuhada Street. Two internationals and two Israeli activists were arrested; four activists were beaten.

Seventy activists participated in the demonstration, which took place at the eastern entrance to Al-Shuhada Street, which was closed by the Israeli military in 1994.

Participants raised Palestinian flags and banners, demanding that Shuhada Street be opened, and an end to all forms of racial discrimination practiced by the occupation. They chanted—in Arabic, English and Hebrew–to condemn the closure of the street and the practices of the military and the settlers against the citizens of Hebron.

The protesters tried to enter Al-Shuhada Street, but Israeli border police, and soldiers who had gathered there, blocked the demonstrators at gunpoint, declaring the area a closed military zone. The soldiers became violent toward the non-violent demonstrators in the market area near the settlement of ‘Abraham Avenue’. Israeli soldiers and police arrested three solidarity internationals, and attacked demonstrators, beating wounding 4 demonstrators.

The demonstration is not violent, to emphasize the fundamental right of Palestinian human rights, the right to move freely in the city of Hebron through Shuhada Street.

One demonstrator said, “we demand, all countries in the world to exert pressure on Israel to stop settlement expansion and dismantle the settlements as a prerequisite to achieving a just peace.”

It is worth mentioning that Al-Shuhada Street, which is located in the heart of the city of Hebron, was once a main street connecting the northern and southern neighborhoods of Hebron. The trade in these areas is now paralyzed, and the Israeli occupation forces have closed more than 600 shops by military order since the end of 2000. More than a thousand shop-owners have had to close their shops in the old city, and about 100 military checkpoints and gates have been set up by the occupation forces, without care for the lives of Palestinian civilians living in the area.