Press release: Hebron Families Protest Segregation and Settler Takeover of City


Contact: Issa Amro | Youth Against Settlements Coordinator | 059 933 9041 |
[email protected]

September 3, 2017, Hebron, Palestine - For the second time in a week, families in the Salayma
and Ghaith neighborhoods protested a fence surrounding their neighborhoods. Around 100
people, at least half of which were children, held signs and chanted about ending Israel’s
policies of segregation and inequality. Protestors were entirely nonviolent. The Israeli military,
however, responded with aggression, manhandling protesters, including children. B’Tselem field
researcher Raed Abu Ramila, a resident of the Salayma neighborhood, was arrested.  

In 2012, Israel placed a fence in the road between the Salayma neighborhood and the Ibrahimi
mosque. The fence divided the road, giving two-thirds for Israeli settlers, and one-third for
Palestinians. In June 2017, the fence was extended to entirely enclose the Salayma and Ghaith
neighborhoods. The around 50 families residing there, are imprisoned inside. A narrow gate
was installed for entry and exit. The gate is locked each night from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM, or at
the discretion of soldiers.

On August 31, Israeli military central command ordered Hebron settlements to have
independent municipal standing. The order violates the Hebron Protocol signed in in 1997. It
legitimizes Hebron settlements, despite their entire illegality under international law. Hebron is
the only city in the West Bank where settlers reside within the Palestinian city.
Human Rights Defender and Youth Against Settlements director Issa Amro spoke about the
recent decision and the need for protest:

“The decision to upgrade settlers status in Hebron from a small community to an official
municipality is a huge violation. It will cause a lot of suffering for Palestinians. As Palestinians,
we  live with no rights and no equality. To imprison and lock in a neighborhood behind a fence,
is inhumane. It must be stood up to. As a people, we are protesting for our rights. We ask the
international community to join us.”

The two protests this week by the Salayma and Ghaith neighborhoods are part of a new
Segregated and Unequal campaign by Youth Against Settlements. The campaign seeks to end
the imprisoning of neighborhoods, the closing of roads to Palestinians and the placement of
signs that change the identity of Hebron’s old city.