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14/07/2006

Hebron

Forum members visiting Hebron.

 Hebron is divided into h1 which is under the Palestinian Authority and h2 which is under Israeli control. In the area of h2 live Jewish settlers in three neighborhoods; Avraham Avinu, Beit Hadassa and Tel Romeda.
"Shovrim Shtika" it's a group of Israeli soldiers that finished their service in Hebron and decided to let the Israelis know what is going on there.
For me it was the first time that I was exposed to the settlers there and to the reality of h2.

  A short history review:

Hebron is a holly city for many Moslems and Jews.
Jews lived for many centuries with Moslems in the the general area of what is called today h2 in Hebron. The land was legally bought by Jews many years before the state of Israel was established.

 In 1929 there a pogrom took place against the Jews and in Hebron alone 67 Jews were killed and the rest were expelled from the city. One family remained there refusing to leave. They left Hebron in 1947.

In 1967 a group of Jews, not of the families that used to live there and that had owned the land, wanted to return and live in Hebron. The Israeli government refused to permit it.
 
In 1968 a group of men leaded by Rabbi Levinger came to Hebron for Passover and refused to leave.

In 1970" Kiryat Arba", a big settlement near Hebron, was built.

In 1979 women and children, leaded by Rabbi's Levinger's wife entered a building known as Beit Hadassa in Hebron and refused to leave.

In 1980, 6 settlers were killed by the Hamas. The "House of the Six" was built. Since then, building of the Jewish settlement inside Hebron commenced.

In 1997 Bibi Netanyahu signed the Hebron agreement which gave most of Hebron to the Palestinian Authority (h1) and left the Israeli settlers (about 600) and another 35,000-40,000 Palestinians under the Israeli authority.

The settlers in Hebron are known for their violent behavior towards the Palestinians and to my surprise also toward us, a group of Israeli bereaved families some of which lost their beloved ones while serving in the army to protect the settlers in are h2. During our tour there we were stoned by the children of Baruch Marzel who were ordered by his wife to get us to move away from there. The army is there to protect the settlers but they don't seem to be allowed to do anything if the settlers harm Palestinians or even another Israeli.
The Israeli police is there to enforce the law. They can arrest people over eighteen and that is why the settlers in area h2 use their kids in order to attack the Palestinians and that is also why Mrs. Marzel told the children to throw stones at us. We saw some scenes that were hard to watch in which young settler children  were harassing, damaging, hurting and behaving brutally towards Palestinians and towards anybody  that was not themselves.

In area h2 there used to be the market of Hebron. Today the market place and all the shops are closed. The doors which face the street were welded shut, Palestinians aren't allowed to walk in the streets or enter their homes from the main street, bring their cars inside or even ambulances if they need them. A reign of racism and horror.

It is important to say that not all the settlers are like many of  those in Hebron and of course that there are also cruel people on the Palestinian side. This tour was made for Israelis in order for us to see some of the reality which was created by the occupation of Hebron.

 

Sharon Misheiker







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