The Hebron Defense committee organized a protest at the old city of Hebron, close to the market and Shuhadaa street, to mark the 22nd anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre and call to end the Israeli settlement project in the city. In 1994, an Israeli settler by the name if Barukh Goldstein entered the Ibrahimi Mosque in the early morning hours, firing on Muslim worshippers, killing 29 and injuring 125. In spite of that, Israel imposed collective punishment against the Palestinian residents of the city, closed Shuhadaa street, formerly a lively commercial area, to the movement of Palestinians, shuttering several stores. Since October 2015, this policy has escalated, when the Israeli army declared Tel al-Rumeida “closed military Zone,” registering Palestinian residents under duress. The army also blocks the entry of international and Palestinian human rights organization to the neighbourhood, as well as anyone who is not a registered resident of Tel al-Rumeida. In the past few months, the Israeli army has carried extra-judicial executions in Hebron, killing 18 Palestinians, many of them underage, under pretext of “knife attacks.” Over 500 Palestinian-owned businesses in the city centre has been shuttered, and the mobility of Palestinian Hebronites severely curbed, while settlers are able to move freely through the city, accompanied by soldiers. The ongoing military occupation of the city and the settler violence resulted in the removal of many Palestinian settlers from their homes and transference of these properties to the settlers. Palestinian and Israeli protesters marched today demanding an end of the policy of collective punishment, restrictions on mobility and executions. The soldiers responded with brutality, charging into the crowd and arresting 12 Israeli protesters under the pretext of “entering area A.” Eight of the Israelis arrested have been released while four still remain at the police station, including a woman who was documenting the protest for Social TV.
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