Hopes to open what was once a thriving marketplace and commercial artery for the ancient city of Hebron is now being proposed as Jewish-only settlement.
By Miriam Deprez | The Electronic Intifada | Dec 31, 2019
‘Israel’s decision to build a new illegal settlement in occupied Hebron is the first tangible result of the US decision to legitimize colonization,’
— Saeb Erakat, senior figure in the Palestine Liberation Organization
Stepping through Checkpoint 56 onto Shuhada Street is like stepping into a different world.
What was once a thriving marketplace and commercial artery for the ancient city of Hebron is now a ghost street, its only life a few Israeli soldiers and settlers where shop and home fronts were welded shut 25 years ago.
Israel shut the street – which leads to the Ibrahimi mosque, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs – to Palestinians after an American Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Muslim worshippers at the site in February 1994.
Shuhada Street is now the site of a new settlement plan proposed by Israeli defense minister Naftali Bennett, where he intends to construct Jewish-only residential units.
This is only the latest Israeli measure in slicing apart the flashpoint city and inflating tensions between Palestinians and illegal settlers.