10.04.18 | Hebron, H2 | School children passing soldier at Beit Hadassah
Segregation in Hebron
The children are returning from school in Hebron. At the bottom of the stairs they must turn left. They are not allowed to turn right and head past the soldier down Al Shuhada Street. Only Jews and tourists may use this street. Al Shuhada was once the commercial heart of the Hebron region. Following Baruch Goldstein’s massacre of 29 Palestinians in 1994, and the subsequent rioting, the IDF closed the street to Palestinians. The area is now a ghost town. The few Palestinian residents that have remained climb out the back doors and windows of their houses because their front doors have been welded shut by the army. They live under constant pressure to join the hundreds who have given up and moved out of the area. They are subject to daily harassment and violence at the hands of settlers and the army. The Star of David is spray-painted on the doors of their closed businesses. They know that once they leave, their departure will be noted by the settlers, and their homes will be targeted for take-over. And so, the settlement expands.
09.04.18 – Hebron, H2. IDF soldiers walk down Al Shuhada Street.
Prayers road is also part of the Israeli-controlled area of Hebron. This road connects the settlement of Kiryat Arba to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a place of worship for both Muslims and Jews. Palestinian residents may only walk on the road, only Jews may drive. All segregation measures implemented by Israel are justified by “security” concerns. Exploiting incidents of violence, by either side, to further restrict the movements of Palestinians, and to further expand the settlements, is a consistent strategy of the occupation. The day after an attack in Hebron in 2002, in which 12 IDF soldiers died, then-PM Ariel Sharon stated that “a window of opportunity existed in the coming 48 hours to establish a “compact” zone of Jewish territorial contiguity between Kiryat Arba and the Jewish enclave in the heart of Hebron, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs.” The soldiers guarding the bottom of the stairs said “all we want is for people to be safe, for things to be quiet.” There is nothing quieter than a ghost town.
14.05.18 Hebron, H2. Palestinians walk on Prayers Road.