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.
This graffiti was recently painted on a shop door in Shuhada Street. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
Grafitti on Shuhada Street saying, “Happy Hebron Coop.” Photo EAPPI/D. Peschel.
A tree swing located where a street used to be before the closure of Hebron. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
A garden on Shuhada Street created by Israeli urban management. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
Israeli names on Shuhada Street area. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
Israeli tourist signs on Shuhada Street. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
Israeli settlers hung up a new sign renaming the legendary Shuhada Street. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
A new street sign marks the new Israeli tourist path climbing up Tel Rumeida hill. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
Tourist signs by the Checkpoint 56. Photo EAPPI/D. Peschel.
EAs by a map of the ‘Biblical Park’ being built by Israeli authorities. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
Archaeological excavations on Tel Rumeida hill. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
Excavation work on Tel Rumeida hill. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
An Israeli tourist path on Tel Rumeida hill. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
Surely the ‘Biblical Park’ won’t be Palestinian. Photo EAPPI/D. Peschel.
The ‘Friendship Garden’ made through HRC and Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) cooperation . Photo EAPPI/D. Peschel.
HRC office – Hebron. Photo EAPPI/D. Peschel.
HRC began renovating the street leading to Kiryat Arba settlement. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
A building once destroyed by Israeli forces is now being restored by HRC. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
Renovated by HRC street leading to Kiryat Arba settlement. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
Renovations made by HRC . Photo EAPPI/D. Peschel.
One side of the story. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
Now Palestinian efforts are concentrated on promoting tourism, which declined drastically after Shuhada Street was closed down. Photo EAPPI/D.Peschel.
The Rajabi building is located in Wadi al Hussein and also between the Kiryat Arba settlement and the old city of Hebron. Photo EAPPI/M. Prisco.
A demonstration in support of the Al Rajabi building. Photo EAPPI/S. Hefekaeuser.
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.