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TAKE ACTION to end the closed military zone in Hebron

19th January 2016 | Action Alert

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Updated map of the closed military zone – photo by Youth Against Settlements

ISM is currently working to expand the campaign to put pressure on Israeli authorities to heed the demands set forth in the Action Alert, which over 35 organizations have now signed calling for an end to the closed military zone in Tel Rumeida, Hebron and for Israeli authorities to abide by international law and the dictates of human rights in the city. Palestinian residents in Tel Rumeida have now been living under a closed military zone for over two months. Palestinians have been forced to register in order to be allowed into their homes; all others, including Palestinian family members, human rights defenders and members of the media are barred from the area by Israeli forces, even as settlers from the adjacent illegal Israeli settlement can walk the neighborhood unimpeded. Since January 17th local Palestinian activists and residents of Tel Rumeida have been nonviolently protesting outside Shuhada checkpoint, calling for an end to the closed military zone.

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Palestinians and international supporters gather every day outside Shuhada checkpoint

We call on all those who believe in human rights, justice and freedom for the Palestinian people to please help in whatever ways you can. Together, we are stronger! We will continue to post updates on the campaign, any new developments in the situation and more actions you can take.  Please also let us know if you have any other ideas for actions to help raise awareness and put pressure on the Israeli government to end the closed military zone.

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Palestinians gather outside the recently renovated Shuhada checkpoint, waiting for Israeli forces to determine whether they are permitted to enter Tel Rumeida

There are many ways you can take action now:

  • Join our Thunderclap campaign and share it with your contacts via Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other social media platforms
  • Call on organizations you work with or are affiliated with to add their names to the Action Alert, and to issue brief statements detailing why the organization is supporting this campaign and why you find it important. Please send all requests to sign and statements to [email protected] for publication. Please also contact us for versions of the Action Alert in languages other than English and Arabic – we currently have translations available in German, French, and Dutch, and will update this page as more become available.
  • Organize an event, such as a demonstration, presentation or other campaign to raise awareness on the situation in Hebron and mobilize support in your area
  • Contact media outlets in your country and call on them to report on the situation of the closed military zone, in Hebron and Palestine in general
  • Join our second Twitterstorm and social media action day on the 1st of March. and tweet with the hashtag #EndHebronMilitaryZone. This google document includes a list of sample tweets to use during the Twitterstorm, which we will continue to update. Please DO NOT use these tweets or tweet with the hashtag #EndHebronMilitaryZone before the time of the Twitterstorm!
  • Write a message to your elected representatives (MEPs, members of congress or whichever position is the equivalent in your country) using the sample text included below, and encourage your friends and contacts to the same
  • If you are based in Europe, call on your EU representatives to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement until Israel complies with international law
  • Organize a delegation to visit Hebron, see the situation for yourselves and talk to Palestinians about the restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation. Seeing the conditions in Hebron with your own eyes offers an understanding of the occupation that one cannot get from reading about it. If you want to organize a delegation you can contact the ISM in Hebron at  [email protected] and we will help you and answer any questions you might have.

Thank you for all your support!

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Young Palestinian man body searched by Israeli forces in Tel Rumeida

Sample text for message to representatives:  

Since the 1st of November 2015, the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron, Palestine, has been declared a “closed military zone.” The zone was specifically designed to include Palestinian neighborhoods while excluding adjacent illegal Israeli settlements. Palestinian residents were forced to register with the Israeli military or else risk being barred from their own homes, while Israeli settlers are free to roam the streets without being stopped. Any Palestinians not registered as residents, international human rights defenders and media are all barred from the area. These restrictions of movement constitute collective punishment, considered illegal under international law.

In the city of Hebron, Palestinian and international human rights defenders are constantly targeted by Israeli forces and settlers from the illegal settlements inside the city for their efforts to document the situation. Meanwhile since the beginning of October over 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers, many in incidents Amnesty International has said may amount to unlawful, extrajudicial executions.

As Abed Salaymeh, a Tel Rumeida resident directly impacted by the closed military zone explained, “soldiers and settlers are making life for the Palestinians intolerable to force them to leave their houses voluntarily. This is a crime under international law. They are targeting activists to silence the truth and stop the truth from reaching the whole world.”

We [or I] call on you to act now for the immediate ending of the closed military zone and the restriction of movements imposed on Palestinians in Hebron. It is time for the international community to take action and call on the Israeli government to comply with international law and especially with the Geneva Conventions in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.