The Judaization of Hebron’s Old City Continues Unabated

The Judaization of Hebron’s Old City Continues Unabated



Taking over Palestinian houses in Hebron Old City by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) is no longer connected to a military operation or a military activity carried out by the Palestinian resistance movement as Israeli settlers strived since the beginning of the 70s of the last century to design a new map of Hebron old city , in particular, and the city of Hebron, in general. For example, the name of the Ibrahimi Mosque was transformed into Machpela (Cave in Arabic), the vegetable market and the surrounding area was transformed into Abraham Avino (Abuna Ibrahim in Arabic), Al Dabouya Palestinian neighborhood was renamed Beit Hadasa, Osama Ibn Al Munqeth School was renamed Beit Romano, in addition to the transformation of the Palestinian neighborhood located between Al Dabouya and the Osama School to what is called Ramat Yashai at the end of which the settlement of Tel Rumeida is being established.

This new reality has pushed the Palestinian residents of the Old City to try to find other neighborhoods in the city that have more personal security than the Old City, especially after a prolonged series of attacks, beatings, house seizure and separation among other humiliating measures at the hands of Israeli soldiers and settlers.

Photo 1



Photo 2 & Photo 3: A graffiti sample written on Walls of Palestinian house in
Wadi an Nasara area – Hebron old city- Photo courtesy of LRC.


 Wadi Al Nasara Neighborhood: A Case of Continuous Suffering:

One of the most violated and most attacked neighborhoods in the Old City is the Wadi Al Nasara neighborhood stretching between the Ibrahimi Mosque and the eastern entrance of the settlement of Kiryat Arba. This neighborhood consists of more than 300 inhibited Palestinian homes. Those living there are members of Jaber, Burhan, Dana, Idrees, Abu Haykal, Shawar and Al Salayma clans.

The neighborhood has been the target of ethnic cleansing ever since the establishments of the first colonial post in the early seventies of the past century as Israeli soldiers and settlers have implemented a racist and dreadful policy to evict the Palestinians from their neighborhood. Such a policy included house demolition, house seizure, physical attacks and beatings against the residents of the neighborhood, psychological terror, economic strangulation, prolonged periods of curfew and separation among other forms of oppression and repression.


Photo 4 & Photo 5: Commercial road full of closed stores in Hebron's old city- Photos courtesy of LRC


Such racist policy and measures intensified after the Palestinian military operation in the neighborhood on November 16, 2004 which resulted in the killing of 12 Israeli soldiers among them the Hebron military commander. Israeli settlers from Kiryat Arba' took advantage of the aftermath of this operation as to spread fear and terror among Palestinians as well as destroying their property and taking it over.


Photo 6 & Photo 7: demolition of old historical buildings in Hebron old city- Photo courtesy of LRC


As part of this policy Israeli authorities have issued more than 110 house demolition orders against ancient and historical Palestinian houses in Wadi An Nasara neighborhood in general and the Jaber Neighborhood in particular. So far, 17 houses have been demolished owned by members of the Da'na, Jaber, Idrees, Al Salayma, Burhan, Abu Haykal and Shawar clans. That is in addition to the confiscation of a 700-m2 piece of land located at the north eastern corner of the Ibrahimi Mosque which is owned by the Islamic Waqf. These measures have been aggressively pursued by the Israeli authorities with the aim of opening a new 700-meter-long road for Israeli settlers through the historical Jaber Neighborhood in an effort to connect between the settlement of Kiryat Arba' and the Ibrahimi Mosque. The new road was named ''Worshiper's Road'' (for more details in this regard, please refer to a study conducted by the LRC titled ''A Road for Israeli Worshippers Built Atop the Ruins of Palestinian Old Houses in Hebron'' published in August 2004). 

Photo 8: Arial photo of the new and old roads linking Kiriyat Arba'
settlement and the Ibrahimi mosque- Photo courtesy of LRC.


Seizure of commercial stores

As part of their aggressive policy, the Israeli settlers seized 4 commercial stores owned by Mr. Saher Musa Jaber, 40 years old. The stores are located on the newly established ' Prayers road ' in Biyar Al Mahawer area of Wadi An Nasara. These stores were seized immediately after the military operation had taken place in that area in November, 2002. in Biyar Al Mahawer area of Wadi An Nasara. These stores were seized immediately after the military operation had taken place in that area in November, 2002.


Photo 9: The four stores seized by settlers in Wadi An Nasara quarter,
Biyar Al Mahawer area- Photo courtesy of LRC


Military Checkpoints and Cameras:

In the area located between the Ibrahimi Mosque and the settlement of Kiryat Arba' there exist five military checkpoints only meters away from each other. These checkpoints represent a real danger to the Palestinian residents as its soldiers chase Palestinians in the streets causing and creating a general state of fear and horror. Moreover, residents are being watched by a number of cameras mounted throughout the area. Each person entering or leaving the area is kept under close observation and scrutiny as these cameras are usually connected to special equipment in Army centers inside and outside of the nearby settlements. As a matter of a fact, any person entering that region feels that there is a real war being waged against the Palestinian population of the neighborhood. The settlers have a role to play in this scheme as they carryout aggressive acts against the Palestinian population on their way to and from the Ibrahimi Mosque. An example of Palestinian suffering in the region is that of the 75-year old Mr. Mahmoud Abdel Haleem Jaber who gave the following statement to LRC's field worker:  ' Since the Palestinian military operation in November 2002 Israeli settlers are continuing their attacks. My house is located exactly next to the location of the operation. After the operation, Israeli authorities confiscated 4 dunums of my land located in Wadi Al Nasara just opposite my house on the other side of the newly built road which was built on my confiscated land to connect between the settlement of Kiryat Arba' and the Ibrahimi Mosque. They, also, confiscated 6 other dunums filled with grapes in the Kkallet Al Daba'a location between the settlements of Kirya Arba' and Kharsina to be used for the establishment of the Israeli Apartheid Separation Wall. The settlers attacked us on a number of occasions. They have uprooted my trees that surrounded the house. They got used to throw empty glass bottles at my house and the nearby houses in association and direct collaboration with the Israeli soldiers who would throw teargas into our house and shoot live ammunition at us. On 30/8/2004 we were attacked by a group of settlers using clubs, empty glass bottles. They hit me with a stick which I later took control of (see picture). The soldiers prevent me from accessing my land in which I grew figs despite the fact that it is only a few meters away from my house. They even demolished a bathroom that I have added to my house under the pretext that it was built without a proper permit. Moreover, we are prevented from renovating our houses or add any additional new buildings despite the fact that we already have permits issued from Beit El Israeli Civil administration of the West Bank. Residents of the neighborhood are prevented from continuing their building projects under the pretext of not getting the proper permits'. 


Photo 10: Mr. Mohammed Jaber
Photo courtesy of LRC            


Feverish settlement Activity:

In Tel Rumeida, at the heart of the city of Hebron, the Israeli illegal building continues at the site which used to consist only of caravans. These caravans are being turned into permanent housing units. The Unity Government in which Benjamin Bin AliEzar was a defense minister gave the settlers a green light to build 116 housing units to replace the six caravans.  The Land Defense Committee, a Palestinian NGO, managed to get a decision from the Israeli High Court to stop building in the said location due to the presence of Islamic artifacts and antiques. The decision did not hold for too long in front of the feverish colonial activity in the Old City. At the present time, the building is in its final stages.

In the immediate vicinity of this settlement, Palestinian families are facing a great deal of danger and suffering. Members of the Abu Haykal, Abu Aisha, Al Bakry and Tahboub clans face the danger of transfer from the region, especially after a series of repeated attacks against the members of these clans. The latest violations in this regard included the overtaking of the rooftop of Mr. Ghalib Tahboub's house. The rooftop was transformed into a military watch point after it was surrounded with barbwires. Its residents are still in the house and are the only ones allowed to get inside the house. No visitors are allowed. Other violations included the burning of olive trees by Jewish settlers in a land owned by Abu Haykal clan in a prelude to takeover the land which is located next to the settlement of Tel Rumeida.  


 Photo 11, Photo 12 & Photo 13:  Hebron old city separated and closed off
from the rest of the city by iron gates, cement blocks and barrels filled with cement- Photos courtesy of LRC


Prepared by
The Land Research Center

Categories: Israeli Plans