Ar Rajabi building in Hebron: evacuated by settlers, occupied by soldiers

Ar Rajabi building in Hebron: evacuated by settlers, occupied by soldiers

Last November Israeli settlers in Hebron were forcibly evacuated by the Israeli army from the al Rajabi building after two years period of occupation. However, the Israeli army took over the building and changed it into a permanent military garrison making no sign of withdrawal. The settlers were forced to leave the scene in compliance with the Israeli supreme court's decision of November, 2008, a decision that was tackled with big fuss by the Israeli media showing high sensitization and suffering of the settlers during the evacuation process.  See Photo 1

Through out the two years of the settlers' occupation of the building, they spare no time to terrorize Palestinian residents of the area by carrying out daily attacks against them, their homes and properties causing losses in lives and properties.

Recently,  the Israeli army intensified its presence inside and out side the building by bringing more caravans ( mobile homes) and electric generators and fixing them beside the building. It seems that the army is determined to use the building as a military base to guard the near by colony of Kiriyat Arba' and its extremist inhabitants.    

Ongoing aggressions

Violent armed and 'religious' settlers led by Baroch Marzel continue to attack Palestinian homes, men, women and children to force them out of the area under the sight of the Israeli army stationed at the roofs of al Rajabi building and other buildings who make no interference to stop these attacks. The latest series of these attacks happened at the beginning of the current month when a large group of settlers destroyed Al Mutanabi school and a number of cars whilst chanting anti – Arab slogans and uttering bad language and curses of all kinds.

Photo 2: a car burned by settler

Photo 3: desecrated graves

Photo 4: smashed house windows


False promises of road opening

About two months ago, the Israeli army distributed a military order stating the intention to re-open the only road in the area for Palestinian traffic to facilitate the Palestinian movement in and out. The order asked Palestinians to provide detailed information about their cars to the Israeli army as a preliminary step towards 'granting'  them  passing permissions.  Nevertheless, there has been no implementation, whatsoever, of this promise, on the contrary, the Israeli soldiers manning the main checkpoint to this road have upgraded the  level of repression and maltreatment of Palestinians making no respect to their obligations.

Even, the Palestinian citizens of this area – Wadi Al Hassin and ar Ras – who live close to al Rajabi occupied building believe that the building itself will become a source of major harassment and repression of Palestinians in that particular place as the signs for this has recently begun through detaining and searching all Palestinian passer byes.

The most serious point in the Israeli military order is the fact that only those who live in the old city will be allowed to use this old and traditional road which links between the Ibrahimi mosque and Wadi Al Hassin and ar Ras through the al Rajabi and Jaber quarters of the old city. This means that all those who don’t live in the old city will have no access to this road and, consequently,  they have to leave their cars at the checkpoint only to be attacked by settlers and soldiers. 

(Photo 5: the old road passes by the al Rajabi building) 


The Palestinian citizens of the area who are covered by this military order have flatly refused to accept the Israeli decision unless the road is made accessible to all  Palestinians without any conditions.

Photo 6: A copy of the alleged Israeli announcement to re-open the Kiriyat Arba' –
old city road for limited Palestinian traffic.




Prepared by:
The Land Research Center