Closure of Hebron Municipality Inspectors Office in Hebron Old City

Closure of Hebron Municipality Inspectors Office in Hebron Old City
Violation: Closure of Hebron Municipality Inspectors Office
Date: May 16, 2010.
Violators: the Israeli Occupation Authorities.
Victims: Municipality Inspectors and the Hebron city residents in general.
Location: Hebron Old City – Hebron.

The Israeli Occupation Authorities have closed Hebron Municipality Inspectors office on May 16, 2010.  Head of Inspectors, Mr. Fahid Banat, was quoted:’ the Israeli Occupation forces raided the office in the morning of Sunday May 16 2010. They searched the office, took photos, and checked the IDs of the employees’. Mr. Banat added that the soldiers confiscated some employees IDs, documents, and maps.

Picture 1 & Picture 2: Municipality Inspectors office – Hebron Old City
Inspectors Tasks:
Under the title ‘Municipality Inspectors’ in the Hebron Agreement which was signed by the PA and ‘Israel’ on January 17, 1997, the following was stated:
1.     According to part C-4 of article 7 of annex 1 of the transitional agreement, the Inspectors are free to perform their duties in H2 area without complications. They must wear civilian clothes and their number must not exceed 50.
2.     The Inspectors carry special IDs issued by the Municipality.
3.     The Palestinian side may request the assistance of the Israeli Occupation Police whenever needed in H2 area. Assistance must be sought through the District Coordination Office.
According to the Head of Inspectors, the Palestinian side has complied with all the Israeli conditions; the Inspectors wore civilian clothes, put on their special IDs, and were never armed.
Picture 3 & Picture 4: IDs made especially for the inspectors
The inspectors’ tasks are, but not limited to, the organization of the merchants affairs in H2 area which is placed under full Israeli control. In addition, their tasks include the protection of the merchants from possible heists or frauds, spreading order in the Old City, and the protection of consumers by conducting goods inspections.
While the Palestinians are trying to revive the Old City by opening branches of seven ministries there, the inspectors performed a brilliant task in providing protection for the ministries, their employees, and clients.
The closure is a violation of the ‘Hebron Agreement’:
The Israeli side was not satisfied by the outstanding job performed by the inspectors who were able to spread law and order within the Old City. As a result, they closed the office in an attempt to prevent the inspectors from efficiently performing their tasks, thus, spread chaos within the Old City.
Khalid al ‘Iseili, Hebron Mayor, stated in a written statement that the Israeli act is illegal and is a violation of the ‘Hebron Agreement’ which clearly stated the need for a 50 employees team who perform the Municipality tasks within the Old City.
Al ‘Iseili demanded immediate reopening of the office. He also called for the humanitarian organizations to record and follow the daily violation of the agreements side between both sides. He expressed concern over the consequences of such an act; he assured on the significance of the inspectors task in the Old City.
50 unemployed:
The Israeli closure of the Inspectors Office deprived 50 employees, supporting more than 200 people, from their only source of income. It added to the agony of the Old City which suffered from the closure of hundreds of shops due to the Israeli Forces brutal measures.
No Office… No Security:
Yasir Shadid, a shopkeeper in the Old City stated:’ we have been feeling a bit safer with the inspectors roaming around. Now, after the closure of the office, safety and security will be a huge concern. This will severely affect our merchandize because of the existence of some gangs which do not hesitate to raid our shops’.
Pic 5: Preview Old  City – Hebron
Hebron and Jerusalem are the only Palestinian cities with Israeli Jewish populations. Hebron City is inhabited by 163146 citizens. The total area of Hebron City is 50163 dunums (1 dunum = 1000 m2) including 23873 dunums of built-up area.
Within the boundaries of Hebron city lays the Old City (named H2). According to Oslo Agreement, it composes 20% of the total city area (4615 dunums) and is under full Israeli Control.
Eight Israeli colonies lay within Hebron City and taking control of 2240.6 dunums of the total city area. 5 of these colonies lay inside Hebron Old City where 600 Israelis live under the protection of more than 1500 soldiers.
The colonies inside the frontier of the Old City are:
1.     Beit Romano (previously Usama bin al Munqiz School)
2.     Beit Hadasa (Aldaboya), it was established in 1980 and its total area is 18.5 dunums.
3.     Ramat Yishai (Tal al Remeida), its total area is 65 dunums.
4.     The Jewish Neighborhood, it was established in 1967 and its total area is around 66.6 dunums.
5.     Abraham Avino, established in 1986 and its total area is 47.6 dunums.
The other colonies are:
1.     Kiryat Arba: established in 1972, its total built-up area is 1173 inhabited by 6605 colonists.
2.     Kharsina: established in 1983, its total built area is 812 dunums.
3.     Haggai: established in 1984, its total built up area is 57.5 dunums inhabited by 388 colonists.

Categories: Closure