Monday, January 24

Israel builds new settlement in Hebron for the first time in 20 years

Protest march in Hebron.

The settlers take Hebron. In the disputed West Bank city, Jewish settlers have not built new homes for two decades. Now, thanks to a concession signed last October by the previous government, the occupying population is going to build 31 new houses in the Old City, in the center of the city. “The moral and political price of having a settlement in Hebron is unbearable,” denounced the Peace Now organization, who has warned of the start of construction.

“The government is acting as a government of annexation, not as a government of change,” said the Israeli NGO in a statement. “Since the 1980s, no executive has dared to build a new settlement in the heart of the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, with the exception of a building built under the auspices of the second intifada in 2001,” he said. . At the same time, has demanded the Minister of Defense to halt construction.

More than 1,000 Jewish settlers live under high Israeli military protection in the center of the southern city of the occupied Palestinian territories. They live among 200,000 native Palestinians of the city. Hebron is home to the Ibrahim Mosque or the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a sacred place for Judaism and Islam. This has made it a source of tension since it is inhabited by the most radical settlers who have divided the city and often clash with the local population. Hebron shows the cruelest portrait of the Israeli occupation.

Old complex

A new settlement “means an increase in violence, it means more restrictions for the Palestinians, it means a change in the identity of our city that will become Israeli,” Hebron-based Palestinian activist Issa Amro told AFP. Peace Now has shown how the construction tasks have already started, although it has recognized that the spatial scope that the new settlement implies is still unknown.

According to the NGO, the colony is being built in a “compound that has been occupied by the army for years as a military base.” It is located in the old bus station complex. The division of Hebron after the Oslo Accords in 1995 led to the abandonment of many Palestinian areas, essential for the development of collective life. Only Israeli soldiers pass through them. While in the even more contested Jerusalem the colonial expansion does not stop, for the first time in two decades, the Palestinians of Hebron lament the arrival of cranes and trucks.

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