FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Military segregates peaceful protest in Hebron - Palestinians activist Issa Amro detained by Israeli military in attempt to reach protest of occupied Hebron home
October 30, 2017, Hebron, Palestine - Well known Palestinian activist Issa Amro was detained by the Israeli military while attempting to reach a peaceful protest organized by the watchdog group Peace Now. The protest was of the ongoing occupation of the Abu Rajab house by illegal settlers. Palestinian residents of Hebron were not allowed by the Israeli military to attend the protest.
“They prevented me today from reaching a peaceful protest. They told me I was not allowed to enter parts of my own city where Israelis were holding a peaceful protest against illegal occupation of the Abu Rajab family home. The Israeli government is increasing segregation and apartheid in Hebron as part of a policy meant to shatter neighborhoods and destroy the integrity of the old city of Hebron. Now, even protests in Hebron are segregated. The Israeli army did nothing to prevent the settlers from forcibly occupying the Palestinian home in July and have done nothing to remove them since. Instead, they are preventing Palestinians from having freedom of movement and participating in freedom of assembly” said Human Rights Defender and coordinator for Youth Against Settlements, Issa Amro.
Amro attempted to reach the Peace Now protest that was taking place in front of the Abu Rajab home. He insisted on written documentation from the soldiers that he and other Palestinian residents of Hebron were prohibited from entering the area to attend the protest. The soldiers provided a closed military zone order that did not apply to the situation. They refused to provide anything else. Amro was forcibly pushed by the soldiers. He was taken first to the “bakery” checkpoint and then to checkpoint “160.” Eventually he was released. No other Palestinians were able to reach the protest.
Preventing Palestinians from reaching a peaceful protest in their city violates even racist Israeli occupation law. It is an example of the extreme level of segregation and apartheid imposed on Palestinians in Hebron.
Since July, illegal settlers have forcibly occupied the Abu Rajab home by the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron. The settlers claim they purchased the house from the family, but the family refute this and the settlers offer no proof. The Israeli civil administration and court have ruled the settlers have no evidence of the purchase.
Shortly after the settlers occupied the Abu Rajab house, the Israeli high court ordered the settlers to leave or they would be removed by the Israeli military. On Wednesday, October 17, the Israeli State’s attorney’s office reaffirmed the illegality of the settler’s presence on the property. Rather than the settlers being evicted however, they continue to remain in the Abu Rajab family house illegally and under the protection of the Israeli military. The army has set up a fortified post with armed soldiers in front of the house to protect the settlers.
Youth Against settlements maintains ongoing and active opposition to the settlement project in Hebron. They assist the Palestinian community in Hebron in utilizing non-violence, advocacy and the court system to resist the seizure and takeover of Palestinian lands and homes.