Over 1000 Demonstrate in Hebron to Open Shuhada Street Despite Army Repression
On Friday, February 25th, 2011 at around 1pm, more than 1000 Palestinians, supported by Israeli and international solidarity activists, rallied in the city of Hebron to demand the opening of Shuhada street. Shuhada street was once one of the main economic and transportation hubs in Hebron, but now the street is completely closed to Palestinians and only Israeli settlers are allowed to use it.
This demonstration was particularly important as Israel, with the support of the United States, has increased settler expansion in the West Bank. The date chosen was also significant because it coincided with the anniversary of the massacre of 29 Palestinians inside the Hebron Ibrahimi Mosque by an Israeli settler in 1994.
During the demonstration, Palestinian Authority police officers blocked several side streets leading to the area and attempted to prevent some people from attending the demonstration. Israeli soldiers stationed themselves on the roofs of Palestinian residences in the area. As the protesters gathered waving Palestinian flags and chanting against the occupation, Israeli soldiers used sound bombs and tear gas in an attempt to disperse the crowd. At least nine people, four of whom are Israeli solidarity activists, were lightly injured. Several demonstrators were also detained by Israeli Forces.