27 August 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank
Like every Saturday, today a guided Zionist tour passed through the divided old city in Hebron, also referred to as Al Khalil by Palestinians. The tour was escorted by 20 Israeli soldiers and led to a couple of Palestinian arrests without clear justification.
Around 4pm the tour went back to Shuhada street, which has been closed since 1997 to collectively punish Palestinians, and are also denied access the main market area that locals once frequented. The Israeli government and military support frequent incursions into the strictly Palestinian area of the city, commonly referred to as area H1.
As soon as the tour went into Shuhada street, the soldiers began to run to Bab el Baladiya. They then raided the house of the Mohtaseb family, claiming that they were throwing stones although no one witnessed this. The Israeli soldiers blocked access to the house and exited with 2 people arrested, Mohammed and Sheker Bahjat who were then brought to a police car and taken away.
The family lives adjacent to a family of illegal, Israeli settlers. According to Mohammed’s wife, Zuhur, the settlers were throwing stones and water at the house while also breaking windows. Incitement and harassment are not new for this family. Zuhur was detained just a month ago for 8 hours, and both her son and husband are often arrested without evidence or clear charges.