Israeli Occupation Forces Welds 3 Commercial Shops Shut in the Old City of Hebron

Israeli Occupation Forces Welds 3 Commercial Shops Shut in the Old City of Hebron
Violation: The welding shout of 3 commercial shops in the heart of the City of Hebron.
Violation Date: The 10th of August, 2010.
Location: The Old Municipality Courtyard in the Old City of Hebron.
Affected: Mr. Azzam Abu Khalaf.
Israeli occupation forces welded shut on Tuesday August 10th, 2010, three shops operated by Mr. Azzam Abu Khalaf located in the Old Municipality Courtyard at the entrance on the Old City of Hebron.
Mr. Abu Khalaf indicated in an interview with Land Research Center (LRC)’s field researcher that a high ranking Israeli Army officer came to the stores and verbally informed him of the intention of the occupation forces to shut down the three shops under the pretext that a weekly demonstration is held in front of the shop calling for the re-opening of Al Shuhada Street.

Pic.1+2: The three closed shops
Abu Khalaf added that the occupation soldiers carried out their threat two weeks after the verbal threat as the soldiers brought with them welding materials and welded shut the three shops while keeping a large percentage of his merchandise inside the welded shops. Abu Khalaf also pointed out that the soldiers physically beat him when he tried to prevent them from closing down the shops. Moreover, the occupation soldiers also beat a number of Palestinian citizens as well as international activists who tried to stop the welding of the shops.
Pic.3+4: Mr. Abu Khalaf standing in front of the shops.
Pic.3: During the eviction of Abu Khalaf from the shops he operates
The closure of the said shops came at the beginning of the month of Ramadan which is the time the markets of the Old City show an exceptional revival due to encouragement from the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC), the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) in addition to a number of Palestinian civil and national organizations.
By the closing of these shops, Israeli occupation forces have denied Abu Khalaf his source of income as he is the breadwinner for a family of 10, of which 3 are children. The shops were welded shut on merchandise estimated to be worth NIS 15,000. Currently, Abu Khalaf is obligated to show the remaining of the merchandise in front of the closed shops. Rather than having to place the goods in the shops, he is currently forced to carry them back and forth between his home and the Old Municipality Courtyard.
Pic.4+5: The Old Municipality Courtyard and the occupation’s towers.
It ‘s worth pointing out that the said courtyard is surrounded with military watchtowers as it is one of the main entrances of Al Shuhada Street closed since the year 2000. In protest of its continuous closure, the Youth Against Settlements group began conducting and organizing non-violent weekly demonstrations in the courtyard. International activists, national figures and even Members of the Knesset (in some instances) participate in these demonstrations which are usually quelled violently by the occupation soldiers. 
Pic.6: Israeli occupation forces dispersing one of the peaceful demonstrations at the Old Municipality Courtyard.

Categories: Closure