Shuhada Street, once the main economic hub in Hebron, has been almost entirely closed to Palestinians since 1994 when an American-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire in the Ibrahimi mosque, killing 29 Palestinians and wounding over 100 more. While Israeli settlers roam freely on the streets and carry arms, Palestinian homes and shops are welded shut. Families must pass through checkpoints to reach their homes. Roads in Hebron are divided in half, one side for Jews, and the other for Muslims. Palestinians face daily physical attacks by ideologically extreme and violent settlers and soldiers.
- Shuhada Street used to be the main marketplace and economic hub in Hebron.
- The street has remained almost entirely closed for Palestinians since the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in 1994. Israelis and internationals are allowed to walk on the street, but not Palestinians.
- Palestinian families who live on the street are not allowed to use the main entrance. They are forced to use alleyways, rooftops, and back entrances to enter their homes.
- Around 850 illegal settlers (according to the UN, the actual number is probably much smaller) live on and nearby the street. This number is set to increase by 20%, with 31 new settlement units being approved for construction.
- In July 2017, settlers occupied an additional Palestinian home. They have remained there since, despite an Israeli supreme court decision to evict them. Israeli soldiers have established a post at the base of the occupied house to guard them.
- Israel applies two sets of laws in the West Bank: Israeli settlers live under Israeli civil law, while Palestinians are under Israeli military law. It is apartheid.
- 513 Palestinian shops in Hebron have been closed by military order.
- There are 23 permanently staffed checkpoints in Hebron within the 1 square kilometer area that surrounds Shuhada Street.
- Israeli forces built three new checkpoints in the summer of 2017.
- Streets in Hebron are divided: one side is for Jews and Christians, while the other is for Palestinians and Muslims.
- The economy in H2 in Hebron (where 35,000 Palestinians and 850 settlers live) is almost totally destroyed. According to a report from OCHA in 2007, eight out of ten Palestinian adults are unemployed in the old city of Hebron, and 75% are estimated to be living below the poverty line.
- Private donors are funding Israeli settlements through at least 50 tax-exempt organizations based in the U.S.
- Between 2009-2013 alone, $220 million was transferred to the settlements in the West Bank as grants by these organizations.
- In 2013, these organizations raised $73 million and sent $54 million in grants to the settlers and settlements in the West Bank.
- The organization most affecting Hebron is the Hebron Fund. In 2003, illegal settlers received 45% of their funding from the Hebron Fund. The Hebron Fund is an American organization, with 501c3 charity tax status (tax-exempt), they state that their primary goal is: the “raising of capital for the improvement of daily life for the [Jewish settler] resident of Hebron, Israel”.
- The finance company Goldman Sachs donated $18,000 in 2013 to the Hebron Fund. Goldman Sachs donated $6,100 in a two year period (2012-2013) to the American Friends, $708,100 to AIPAC and $15,000 to the American Jewish International Relations Institute.
Materials for the campaign
- 24 x 18-inch signs for the campaign – Open Shuhada Street signs
- Instructions on how to build a mock checkpoint – Mock Checkpoint
- 20 x 30-inch sign for printing and mounting for mock checkpoint – Mock Checkpoint sign
- Photos to use for the campaign (contact us if you would like more photographs for printing)
- Street action - Art action
- Tweets for OSS - sample tweets
- Photos of Hebron to be used in exhibitions (contact us and we will supply you with the material)
- Videos of Hebron to be used in screenings (contact us and we will supply you with the material)
- Personal stories from Shuhada Street
- Flyers about the campaign (in English, Italian, French, German)
- Booklet about YAS and Hebron; "Hebron Ghost Town" (contact us and we will supply you with the pdf for printing)
- Roleplay materia: doc 1 and doc 2.
- Materials for advocating with your representatives in parliament or congress - coming soon
- Information connecting the situations in Jerusalem and Hebron - coming soon
Open Shuhada Street campaign in Sweden