Youth Against Settlements opposes Israel’s approval of 31 new settlement units within the city of Hebron.
On Monday October 16, the Israeli Civil Administration approved a plan to build 31 new settlement units on Shuhada Street in the old city of Hebron. The units are slated to be built in the Beit Romano settlement on the site of the old Hebron bus station. If the plan goes forward, it will be the first new settlement construction in Hebron’s old city since 2002 when ten new units were authorized in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood by the Ariel Sharon administration.
Construction of the units will accelerate the seizing of Palestinian land in Hebron and expulsion of Palestinian citizens. It will increase the closures of the streets, markets, shops and commercial spaces in the city and region. It will means more movement restrictions, apartheid, segregation, settler violence and harassment.
“The plan would increase the number of settlers within the city of Hebron by twenty percent," said Human Rights Defender Issa Amro. “It would further destroy Palestinian property and the historical nature of our ancient city,”
The approval is retribution for the July 2017 decision by UNESCO to designate Hebron as a world heritage site. The UNESCO’s designation was a major blow to Hebron settlers. It affirmed the Palestinian identity of Hebron and nature of the conflict as political rather than religious. The approval of the 31 new units follows a July, 2017 decision to grant the Hebron settlements independent municipality status. Both are violations of international law and the Hebron Protocol.
Israel has maintained control the old Hebron bus station on Shuhada Street since the 1980’s when they seized it for military use. According to Israeli law, when the army abandoned use of the site, it returns to the control of the Hebron municipality. Shuhada Street has remained almost entirely closed to Palestinians since the 1994 Ibrahimi mosque massacre of 29 Palestinians by Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein. Rather than building 31 new settlement units, and declaring an independent municipality, Israeli settlers and soldiers must leave Hebron. The Palestinian identity of Hebron must be maintained and human rights for Palestinians must be ensured.
Plan to build the new units