HEBRON, December 7, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Monday closed the entrance of al-Shuhada Street in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, preventing Palestinian locals’ movement in and out of the area.
WAFA reported on Mayor of Hebron Dawood al-Za‘tari as expressing his rejection to the Israeli forces’ move to close the entrance of the street under the pretext of expanding the checkpoint and installing bullet resistant glass rooms to be used for searching Palestinian locals.
He noted that Hebron Municipality is still following up on legal procedures with an Israeli court in this regard.
He explained that under the pretext of installing glass rooms, Israeli forces intends to expand the military checkpoint deep into al-Shuhada Street in order to seize a total of 181 square- meters belonging to some Palestinian locals.
Israel has restricted Palestinians’ access to al-Shuhada Street after Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli settler, broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque and killed 29 Palestinians in 1994.
Israel closed the road in late 2000 during the second intifada (uprising) and installed military checkpoints that restrict Palestinians’ access to the area in order to secure protection for dozens of settlers living in illegal settlements in the area.
Israel has also suffocated Palestinian commercial activities in the area, issuing military orders to extend the closure of over 500 Palestinian stores in the area and forcing over 1,000 others to close.
According to a story issued by the Israeli human rights center in early 2011, B’Tselem, “Over the years, Israel established a number of settlement points in and around the Old City of Hebron which had traditionally served as the commercial center for the entire southern West Bank.”
“Israeli law-enforcement authorities and security forces have made the entire Palestinian population suffer in the process of protecting Israeli settlement in the city. The authorities impose a regime intentionally and openly based on the ‘separation principle’, the result of which is legal and physical segregation between the Israeli settlers and the Palestinian majority.”
The center stressed that this policy led to the economic collapse of the center of Hebron and drove many Palestinians out of the area.