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Palestinians demand Shuhada St. reopened after 20 years

In a rare, united political front, Palestinian protesters try to reach Hebron’s segregated Shuhada Street but are confronted by Israeli army and police. Five are arrested and a B’Tselem researcher is hit in the head with a rubber-coated bullet. [This post has been updated]

Demonstrators scattering as stun and tear gas grenades are fired into the crowd (Yotam Ronen / Activestills)

Demonstrators scattering as stun and tear gas grenades are fired into the crowd (Yotam Ronen / Activestills)

About 1,000 Palestinians from all political parties, joined by Israeli and international activists, marched through the streets of Hebron Friday afternoon demanding to reopen the city’s formerly central commercial street. Shuhada Street has been closed to Palestinians movement for the better part of 20 years since the Cave of the Patriarchs/Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre.

The procession started at the central mosque in the Palestinian-controlled part of Hebron’s old city around noon and quickly arrived at the army checkpoint stopping Palestinians from entering Shuhada Street. Within seconds the scene ignited with stun grenades and tear gas canisters thrown by soldiers and police at the protestors and stones flying in the opposite direction. The vast majority of demonstrators retreated immediately but a few stayed and tried to cross over through the army lines. Many were beaten and four five were arrested before this group also turned around. [Update: Youth Against Settlements in Hebron say three of the detainees were later released]. The demonstration went on for another hour with small pockets of protesters trying to regroup and march on to the checkpoint again, each time answered with more “crowd dispersal” weapons and police chasing them back into the city. Eventually the organized actions faded away, leaving groups of youths setting tires on fire and confronting soldiers for a few hours longer.

Small groups of protestors tried to break through army lines (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

Small groups of protestors tried to break through army lines (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

Several demonstrators were lightly wounded during the protest. The worst injury was received by B’Tselem’s Hebron field researcher, Musa Abu-Hashash, who was shot with a rubber coated bullet that grazed his head. He was hospitalized for several hours. According to B’Tselem spokesperson Sarit Michaeli, Abu-Hashash was walking in an area with no confrontations and was wearing a clearly marked, blue B’Tselem vest.

A Palestinian demonstrator is arrested by soldiers (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

A Palestinian demonstrator is arrested by soldiers (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

As several organizers mentioned at the end of the protest, the demonstration was especially important in three main aspects: first, it showed a rare example of inner-Palestinian partnership. In previous years the “Open Shuhada” campaign was run by Youth Against Settlements, which is more affiliated with Fatah, and separately, by the Defense Committee, a coalition of left-wing parties (PFLP, DFLP and the People’s Party). This is the first time that the different factions united for one demonstration. The second point organizers stressed was the important partnership between Palestinians and Israelis, a partnership based on anti-colonialist action and not empty words. Thirdly, and this was of particular importance to the Defense Committee people, demonstrators carried signs and chanted calling on John Kerry to either speak out against all illegal Israeli settlements and demand an end to colonization as part of the peace process – or leave the area altogether as his current proposals would thereby contribute nothing toward peace.

At the end, several youths started burning tires (Yotam Ronen / Activestills)

At the end, several youths started burning tires (Yotam Ronen / Activestills)

Read also:
WATCH: 20 years since the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre in Hebron

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  • COMMENTS

    1. bob wisby

      Arabs doing what they do best: stirring up trouble. It is indeed unfortunate that the Jews are enmeshed in this ceaseless struggle with evil. If only we could live in peace.

      Reply to Comment
      • Menil

        Right. Peace. Like the peace Israel has with African refugees, who never held a weapon against Israel yet are being sent to concentration camps? What guarantee do the Palestinians have that they won’t share the same fate if they lay down their weapons? I’m an Israeli and I served in the Israeli army, but if I were Palestinian there’s no doubt I would continue the armed struggle as long as I don’t see that Israel gives me any alternative.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Uhmm. Because if Israel wanted to do that it had 47 years to have done so? If you were an Israeli soldier then you would know that the Palestinian “armed resistance” can only continue as long as Israel uses a tiny fraction of the firepower it has available.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      The time has come to liquidate the cancerous Hebron settlement once and for all, and return that miserable city back to its Palestinians inhabitants!

      Reply to Comment
      • bob wisby

        Comparing Jews to cancerous growths was a favorite trick of the German propaganda writers, Danny. You may want to rephrase your remarks.

        Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          These Jews are despicable criminals and their settlement is a malignant growth in Israel’s body. the sooner it is liquidated, the better.

          Reply to Comment
          • Danny, I don’t think Bob cares about anyone. Look at his comments over several threads. He just wants to rile. To get the dog to bark, run in a circle. Sarcasm for greater intelligence, much as teens often react to their parent’s statements. It’s all a joke to him.

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            This site is starting to be a real magnet for right-wing cuckoos, isn’t it? I try to debate the saner ones, but if I see there’s no point to it, I stop.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Danny the Jihadi is finally showing his true colors: pure hateful, nasty savagery. Ha! Now, know ye this, Danny the Jihadi, Jews will for eternity stay in Hevron, grow and prosper. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing you and your fellow Jihadis can do about it. Powerless, Danny? Well you might want to try a Jihadi suicide belt, no?

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            “Ha! Now, know ye this, Danny the Jihadi, Jews will for eternity stay in Hevron, grow and prosper.”

            Ha, indeed. You mean like they did in Gaza?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Greg Pollock, no sane human being would ever accept comparing Jews to cancer as Danny did. As such, I am sure Bob is speaking in plain language in that regard, as should any sane, healthy mind. Do you – Mr. Greg Pollock – accept that “The time has come to liquidate the cancerous Hebron settlement once and for all”? If not, why do you not have the moral courage to condemn such nasty anti-Semitic statement? Why comfort Danny and make caricature of someone who has the courage to condemn his racist statements?

            Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          Just to be clear, by using the word ‘liquidating’ i am not suggesting physically harming the inhabitants, just removing them by force like Israel did with the Gaza settlers. If they violently resist, break an arm or a leg, and knock out a few teeth out of these shits, but otherwise no lethal force unless absolutely necessary.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Yeah Danny the Jihadi, the savage monster that resides in your heart is clearly manifesting itself for the whole world to see. What a beast you are. Be gone!

            Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            I’m no expert, but you sound like a person who is in dire need of psychotropic medication.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            What kind of sane person calls hundreds of families “shits” simply because they are Jews? What kind of healthy person demands soldiers to “knock out a few teeth out of these shits”? What kind of human being calls for “an arm or a leg” of his fellow human beings to be “broken” by soldiers? I am sure you are no expert, Danny (no Jihadi ever is). But reasonable people will read your own comments and decide for themselves. You have been trying to blend in as a Western/Israeli anarchist (though I have always known who your are and where you are posting from), but today, you went bonkers and the veil fell off your face. ‘nuff said.

            Reply to Comment
          • Well, Danny, these are avatars of national right Israel (the only Israel that can be). I suspect some are assigned by whatever network they belong to (maybe just an internet network). Their goals seems to be to police, present alternative views and data, and, much of the time, bash others disagreeing into silence/withdrawal. They seem to think that this is necessary because of all the anti-Semitic lies and myths of the centuries. One tool is to egg their target on to make an angry statement which they may later regret or wish they had said differently. So, um, “liquidate.”

            I think you’ve said in the past that you left Israel and are very displeased by its political and policy trend. I am much more neutral than that, having no connection to Israel (of course, that is then used against me–”why are you here? Why are you obsessed? Get professional help!”), but, even so, these tactics have gotten to me too. I’ve asked myself why. I think it is because I really don’t want to think people could be like that. So I get angry that there are such. And, of course, my anger becomes a weapon against me. Consider your present interlocutor. She has no problem with the corporate stripping of citizenship for up to 300,000 Arab Israels; she would purge East Jerusalem of Arabs if they will not live “peaceably”; she expects the Kingdom of Jordan to collapse, becoming the true Palestinian State, implying that is where the West Bank residents will go; Judea and Samaria, not just “4%” of it but all of it, is warranted to Israel via some 2000+ year old presence, if not Torah. The “lioness of Zion” wants you to go away. Or abjectly convert.

            My view is that the journalists making this site, not all identical in position, show brave resolve and I can support that. What I try to say I now direct mostly to them. There are some people you can talk to on the site. Aaron Gross and Vadim, I think, some others too. But the avatars seem to think that if they fill up the comment thread they have won. It’s not true. In fact, avatar comments can help others to question what’s going on. They seem so certain of what they say that, well, they reveal themselves too much.

            Those focusing on human rights don’t have a final solution (I use the phrase intentionally). When you decide to advocate rights, you never know where it will all go. The national right knows exactly where things should go. And that future uncertainly inherent in rights is one reason I admire the 972 people. They don’t have a solution. They have only “not this, please, not this.”

            Sorry for the speech.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn9

            Or, these are people that simply disagree with you and wish to express their opinions, like you know, in democracies. Heaven forbid somebody might disagree with you, and not on minor technicalities, but on basic axioms on which your entire worldview is built. That somebody disagreeing with you might make you angry is really your problem, isn’t it? It would probably just suggest that you are not as open minded as you pretend to be.

            In this case no one “egged” Danny on. This: “The time has come to liquidate the cancerous Hebron settlement once and for all” was entirely unprovoked but it certainly does reveal that at his core Danny is driven by hatred. Were I to use the same terminology to refer to the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem I am rather sure you would accuse me of a whole litany of rather negative qualities and equate me with some rather unsavory characters from the 1930s or 1940s. Yet here you choose to side with Danny which really does not reflect well on you.

            Those focusing on “human rights” as a means of attacking one side certainly don’t need to offer solutions because that isn’t the point. The point is to produce negative propaganda against Israel, which is what this site is sponsored to do in the first place. Criticism without offering solutions is really just petulant complaining. It requires very little bravery to do that in Israel. It is practically a national sport.

            Oh, and, you are not neutral. You are obsessed. And you should get professional help.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            Danny iseems to be a professional HATER.

            I have seen him use the term “de-Zionification” of Israel (alluding to the term de-Nazification of Germany after WW2). Which of course is a hateful comparison (deliberately I suspect).

            In any case, one has to wonder what he means by that given that the majority of Israelis and Jews worldwide can be described as Zionists or at least as having Zionist sympathies.

            So what does Danny want to do with us? Send us to Gulags? To re-education camps? Or has he got something even worse in store for us?

            Danny: over to you. Care to answer? Please correct me if you think I have been unfair to you.

            Reply to Comment
          • I’m not the angry one at the moment…

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            “Their goals seems to be to police, present alternative views and data, and, much of the time, bash others disagreeing into silence/withdrawal.”

            But Greg, in this site we are the ones with alternative views and Danny is the one who tries to police us.

            You don’t think that he sounds as hateful as anyone, who has ever posted here? Whether he is on our side of politics or yours? If you don’t, then I for one attribute it to your own bias.

            Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        I’m totally agree with you regarding the “cancerous” settlers and get the town of Hebron back to the original owners – Jews.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Colm

      As Chomsky has pointed out, there is no need for violence from the IDF against settlers. Just announce that the IDF is leaving, at such and such a time, and would no longer be available to the settlers. Then leave. Instant exodus of settlers.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Given that Hebron was build by Jews and it is Jewish patriarchs who lay in the tomb, it is Arabs who are “settlers” and not Jews.

        Reply to Comment
        • BaladiAkka 1948

          “Given that Hebron was built by Jews”
          Haha, the ethnocentric pathology among Zionists is really funny. Of course Hebron/al-Khalil wasn’t built by Jews (just as Jerisalem wasn’t). How come so many Jews think that everyone before and after them just doesn’t count ?
          And even if Hebron/al-Khalil were built by Jews, it’s still no reason for mostly American lunatics to invade the city and expel its native inhabitants.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Of course Hebron/al-Khalil wasn’t built by Jews…

            Large parts of it were. And Cave of Patriarchs.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_of_the_Patriarchs

            >And even if Hebron/al-Khalil were built by Jews, it’s still no reason for mostly American lunatics to invade the city and expel its native inhabitants.

            In 1929 there was no Jewish soldiers in Hebron, the outcome is well-known.

            Reply to Comment
          • BaladiAkka 1948

            Thanks for confirming what I said about Zionist Jewish etnocentrism. Hebron was not founded by Jews, it became Jewish through conquest, Jews were only one out of many ethnic groups passing through this ancient city, and still you focus only on their history.
            The massacre in 1929 of innocent people was a direct result of Zionist presence in Palestine; why don’t you read about the Sephardic Jews who fled Europe after the Reconquista to find a safe haven in Palestine (Safed, Hebron etc) and elsewhere in the Ottoman Empire, later followed by Ashkenazi Jews. Zionism surely made a lot of harm ….

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “The massacre in 1929 of innocent people was a direct result of Zionist presence in Palestine”

            Ah … ok …. thanks for confirming that the Jews who were murdered in Hebron in 1929 by “peaceful” Arabs, were innocent. And their only crime was the presence of Zionists elsewhere in Palestine.

            By the way, in 1929, those Zionists too did not do any harm to Arabs. The Zionists harmed Arabs only later. In response to Arab attacks against them too.

            Reply to Comment
          • BaladiAkka1948

            Yeah, of course, the Balfour Declaration did no harm to the indigenous people of Palestine, and thousands of people weren’t expelled from their homes when Zionist organizations bought land in Marj Ibn ‘Amr…..
            Why don’t you read some basic history written by non-Zionist historians ?

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            @Balad
            Who did the Zionists buy land from? They bought the lands from Arab owners. So what did you expect the Zionists to do? Pay out the money and just walk away?

            But returning to my question in the previous post. By what right did Arabs murder innocent Jews in Hebron? Your answer was because of the Zionists who were elsewhere in Palestine. Are you really happy with that answer? Or do you want to rethink it?

            Reply to Comment
          • BaladiAkka1948

            Maybe you should look into the buying of land in Marj al-’Amr and the expulsion of thousands of inhabitants, and compare it with traditional landownership in Palestine prior to the Zionist invasion.
            I didn’t say anything about Zionists ‘being elsewhere in Palestine’. I said that innocent Jews paid the price for Zionist politics, but it’s really nothing compared to the prize indigenous Palestinians paid. And if my memory is correct, the first political assassination by the Zionist movement was that of Jacob Israël de Haan…..that was long before 1929. I guess you know the motivations.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            So what you are saying, Balad, is that it is OK for Arabs to kill Jews anywhere, because of what Zionists do (real or imaginary things even)?

            As for Jacob Israël de Haan, are you saying that the Arabs had the right to Murder the innocent Jews of Hebron in 1929 (there was no occupation) because some Zionists assassinated another Jew ( Jacob Israël de Haan) whom they considered to be a traitor?

            Reply to Comment
          • BaladiAkka 1948

            I’m saying that Trespasser – and apparently you too – is suffering from a pathology called severe ethnocentrism which combined with its sideeffects: pathological victimization, supremacism, selective memory etc makes him/you incapable of seing who’s the victim and who’s the agressor in this case.
            Continue your discussion ….without me.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            “Continue your discussion ….without me.”

            Glad to Baladi …

            When I need a psycho-analyst, I’ll go to a real one, not you.

            In the meanwhile, mull on this. Your Arab ancestors in Hebron, massacred Hebron’s innocent Jews. Even you admitted that. But then you gave us a novel excuse for it. You said that it was done because there were Zionists elsewhere in Palestine. You seem to be perfectly happy with that excuse.

            And you think that I am the one who needs psycho-analysis? You are a regular comedian, Baladi.

            Reply to Comment
          • bob wisby

            You forgot to add ‘Narcissism’, there, Baladi. That also plays a big part in all this.

            Reply to Comment
    4. On National Public Radio here in the US I heard of a Catholic priest who runs a halfway house, with millions of dollars flowing through, for Los Angeles gang members trying to change their life. He has gone to hundreds of funerals in his time, but he also has photos of many escaping that life. When I heard this, I thought, “that is what religion can do.”

      Then there’s Hebron, where purported tombs have induced a hatred I fear has become all too easy to understand. The presence of 350 settlers have restricted the lives of thousands. The God evoked here is not the God of the Catholic priest, above. There seems to be more than one God. I wonder if He fights Himself. Perhaps that is the only hope–that He does do exactly that.

      If about 1,000 can be mobilized to face the IDF it is sign that the present passivity of Palestinians will not endure indefinitely. Life will eventually rebel. Nonviolence knows this, and tries to find a path out.

      I wish I had positive suggestions to make–but don’t.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >The presence of 350 settlers have restricted the lives of thousands.

        It is really not the 350′s fault that “thousands” just can not live in peace. They could not in 1929, they can not now, they will not in the future.

        Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        Indeed, the presence of Jews in a city is a terrible burden to tolerate. Best get this over with and let the thousands massacre the Jews of Hebron [again] so that everyone can live in “peace”.

        It would be nice to reread some of these articles at some point replacing ‘settlers’ with ‘Jews’ and see whether the content still appears sensible.

        Reply to Comment
        • bob wisby

          It might turn out that it’s the army presence in the heart of the city, not the Jews’ presence, Kolumn9. I agree with you that the Jews need an army with them, though, to keep them safe. Didn’t I hear there was some violence in Hebron back in 1929? Once a dog has bitten you once, you can never trust it again.

          Reply to Comment
    5. Danny

      I have to say that the egregious situation in Hebron brings the worst in me – how 500 religious fanatics are able to choke a city of 150,000 inhabitants just because they belong to a “chosen people” and the inhabitants don’t, is beyond me. The situation in Hebron is very similar to the one that existed in Gaza, before it was evacuated, and whose outcome will be the same – evacuation by force. The reason this isn’t being done now is purely political – no government wants to tackle this, including the government of Rabin which had a very good pretense for doing so (the mass murderer Goldstein and his many followers). Normally I’m not so emphatic when I discuss the occupation on this site, but the Hebron settlers bring the worst in me.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Samuel

      “have to say that the egregious situation in Hebron brings the worst in me”

      Yes. I can see where you are coming from Danny. It is outrageous that Jews dare to live in a place where Jews lived historically for thousands of years till 1929 when Arabs ethnically cleansed them from Hebron. And the fact that they dare to rely on the army for protection makes it all the more outrageous.

      Yes, Danny. Yesterday Gaza, tomorrow Hebron, and the day after that? Tel Aviv? New York city? Paris? London? Wherever else Jews live? Some people don’t like Jews living anywhere, isn’t that right Danny?

      Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        Jews have lived historically in many places around the globe, though you’ll have a real hard time convincing present-day inhabitants that they should pack up their bags and get out ’cause the chosen ones have arrived. Get with reality – Hebron is a large ARAB city that unfortunately isn’t amenable to Jews any longer, just like many other Arab cities in the Middle East. The Jewish people have a state they can call their own, with plenty of modern large cities and towns they can choose to live in. They don’t need to live in Arab cities, and shouldn’t be allowed to UNLESS THE MAJORITY OF THE INHABITANTS WANT THEM THERE, which they clearly don’t (and I don’t blame them). Hebron will be the largest city in Palestine, and it’s time to evacuate the Jewish agitators from there.

        Reply to Comment
        • Samuel

          “though you’ll have a real hard time convincing present-day inhabitants that they should pack up their bags and get out ’cause the chosen ones have arrived.”

          Whoa there Danny Hold on there. We “the chosen ones” as you call us, are not the ones who tell anyone to get out. The Arabs are welcome to stay. But you, the holy Arab warriors and their sympathisers are the ones who constantly tell us to get out of Hebron.

          Where else do you want us to get out from, Danny?

          Reply to Comment
          • Danny

            Hebron is no more a Jewish city than Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus or for that matter, Nablus or Bethlehem. These are all Arab cities today, despite the fact that Jews have lived in them at one time or another. The situation in present-day Hebron is untenable – 500 Jews are choking a city of 150,000 simply because they believe (erroneously mind you) that it is their God-given birthright. They are Arab-hating agitators, many of whom came from the U.S. on order from their Rabbi Kahana, specifically to confront and harass Arabs, who take pleasure in making the lives of the native inhabitants miserable in the hope that it will cause them to pack up and leave. Hence the closing of Shuhada street.

            Stop trying to preach to me about how these Jews only wish to get along with their Arab neighbors, and would like nothing more than to have peace and harmony in Hebron. Nothing could be farther from the truth!!! They are hate-filled supremacists who adhere to the hate-filled ideology of Kahana – a man who was even too racist for Israel’s knesset to stomach (and that’s saying much).

            The day I’ll see Baruch Marzel and his klan getting dragged out of their settlements and thrown into police vans to be driven out for good will be a very happy day, which, I’ll be honest, I’ll take much pleasure in witnessing.

            Reply to Comment
          • Samuel

            Yes Danny, I understand what you are saying.

            The peace loving non supremacist Arabs just can’t stomach even a single Jew living in Hebron. That’s why they murdered all the Jews of Hebron back in 1929.

            And we Jews should know our place. If people don’t want us to live in places in which we lived for thousands of years, like Hebron and Jerusalem, we should just wipe our noses, get out quietly and stop complaining. Right, Danny?

            Reply to Comment
        • bob wisby

          “Jews have lived historically in many places around the globe…”

          True, Danny. And historically, they’ve been kicked out of every single one of those places around the globe. Not a very impressive track record, wouldn’t you agree?

          Reply to Comment
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