HEBRON, Tuesday, December 01, 2020 (WAFA) – Palestinians today voiced concerns over the establishment of a new Israeli colonial settlements at the site of a newly-dismantled military camp in Hebron’s Old City, according to a local activist.
Imad Abu Shamsiyya, an activist working with the Youths against Settlements (YAS), an organization that documents human rights abuses carried out by the Israeli military in Hebron, said that the Israeli occupation authorities started the dismantling of a military camp at Ash-Shuhada Street, which has been closed since the 1994 massacre.
He voiced his concerns that this could serve as a prelude to the creation of a new colonial settlement at the site of the camp, given the recent successive visits of settler leaders and members of Knesset to the site.
Twenty two years ago, Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque and opened fire at Palestinian Muslim worshippers, killing 29. Four Palestinians were killed on the same day in the clashes that broke out around the Mosque in response to the massacre.
In the aftermath, the mosque, known to Jews as Tomb of the Patriarchs, was divided in two, with the larger part turned into a synagogue while heavy scrutiny was imposed on the Palestinians and areas closed completely to them, including an important market and the main street, Shuhada street.
The city of Hebron, which houses the Ibrahimi Mosque, is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers who live in compounds heavily guarded by Israeli troops.
Israel has expelled the only international monitors protecting Hebron’s Palestinians from 800 heavily guarded settlers, one of whom committed the 1994 massacre that triggered their deployment.
Such Israeli measures, taken under the guise of security, are intended to entrench Israel’s 53-year-old military occupation of the West Bank and its settler colonial project which it enforces with routine and frequently deadly violence against Palestinians.