PHOTO ESSAY: Two faces of the Hebron’s urban planning

by Diana, Hebron team

Hebron’s appearance is slowly changing… while carrying out are usual EAPPI tasks, we can observe both – the Israeli settler’s and the Palestinian resident’s efforts to transform the city.

Israeli settler efforts are concentrated mainly on Shuhada Street and Tel Rumeida hill. They tend to highlight the ancient Jewish heritage in Hebron. That’s why they paint graffiti on the door of closed palestinian shops, they arrange gardens in place of streets formerly leading to the old city market, they put informative signs and mark tourist paths. Recently, they also renamed the streets in the area of settlements in the old city. On the top of Tel Rumeida hill the ongoing archaeological excavations will create a Biblical Park explaining the Jewish history of the site and the city.

On the other hand, the Palestinian Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) focuses its efforts on the Old City of Hebron. They rebuild houses demolished by Israeli forces, restore the former look of historical sites of the old city, and make better everyday life of its inhabitants, many of whom have moved out of the Old City after its closure. Lastly, HRC also strongly promotes tourism and other sectors of Hebron’s economy.

*Read more about the Archeological Excavations in Hebron.

*Check out our Three-part series about Shuhada Street.

Rajabi building update: Israeli court decides in favor settler ownership

The long disputed case of the Rajabi house in Wadi al Hussein in Hebron today saw a decision from the Israeli Supreme Court in favour of settler ownership of the house. EAPPI met with representatives of Youth Against Settlements (YAS) to discuss the issue. They expect that this development will likely see increased tension, as settlers have claimed that they will ‘take back’ the house. There is talk among Palestinian organizations such as YAS and Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) to arrange demonstrations and other non-violent activities in the coming days in response to the decision. Coupled with the fact that the holiday of Purim is just in a few days, the coming week will probably see increased tension in the H2 area of Hebron.

In EAPPI’s fact sheet on the Rajabi building published last September, we point out that the decision to give the house to Israeli settlers is against international law as it means the establishment of a new settlement in Hebron.  This decision hinders the current peace process and could have severe humanitarian implications for Palestinians who live in the vicinity of the Rajabi building.

For more, read our fact sheet on the Rajabi case and its humanitarian implications, watch an animated film created by some of our EAs, and read our previous posts about the case.

Also read, Palestinians lose appeal over Hebron house ownership.