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Curfew on Hebron neighborhoods imposed by Israeli forces

2nd July 2016 | International Solidarity Movement, al-Khalil team | Hebron, occupied Palestine

Israeli forces, on 30th June 2016 enforced a complete curfew on several neighborhoods in occupied al-Khalil (Hebron). Deliberately, this curfew was designed to be imposed only on the Palestinian population, with the expressive goal of allowing settlers to move around these neighborhoods without even so much as seeing Palestinians on the street.

After a 13-year old girl was stabbed, allegedly by a Palestinian youth, in the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of al-Khalil, her funeral was scheduled to take place in the evening. With the procession scheduled to leave at 6pm from the illegal settlement, many neighborhoods along the way towards the Jewish cemetery in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood were closed down long before this time. Palestinians attempting to return home were aggressively denied access by the occupying Israeli forces.

In the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, the curfew was imposed long before 6pm and only lifted after about 4 hours. Residents of this neighborhood were thus trapped either inside their houses with doors well bolted in fear of common settler-attacks – or left without any possibility to reach their homes, as the curfew was not announced. This also left people trying to reach home for Iftar, the meal after fasting from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan, stuck at a checkpoint where they were ‘not allowed’.

This curfew clearly constitutes a collective punishment imposed on the entire Palestinian population in these neighborhoods – which are deliberately punished merely on the basis for them being Palestinian. Furthermore, Israeli forces are enacting acts of collective punishment by sealing the home-town of the alleged Palestinian attacker, slating his families’ home for demolition and revoking their work-permits.