21 August 2010
HEBRON: Israeli Military and Policemen Shut Three Palestinian Shops
Every Saturday for the last several months, Youth Against the Settlements has led a nonviolent action – “Open Shuhada Street” – at the entrance to the Old City of Hebron. On Tuesday, 10 August 2010 the Israeli military and police forcibly welded shut three stores that stand directly behind the area of the weekly Saturday action and across from the gate of an Israeli military base.
A local friend alerted CPT at 2:45 p.m. that the shopkeeper had received a warning that the military would close his shops, and he had half an hour to remove all his merchandise. After arriving at the site, CPTers alerted other internationals, partner organizations and media to come. A crowd of about 75 people assembled in front of the stores. As they waited, Palestinians removed and hid two of the shop doors.
A little after 4:00 p.m., 30 soldiers and three policemen arrived and pushed their way into the shops where internationals and Palestinians were waiting. The soldiers pulled the civilians out of the shops, scattered much of the merchandise, and dragged a Palestinian behind the gate. Red Crescent of the International Red Cross came shortly thereafter and examined the Palestinian man who had been injured while being dragged. They determined he had a brain concussion and advised the police that he needed hospitalization. The police replied they would take the Palestinian man to the jail, question him and then decide if he needed hospitalization.
Declaring the area from the military base to the stores a “closed military zone,” the soldiers formed two lines and progressively forced the crowd away from the stores being closed. Other soldiers retrieved the two hidden doors and welded shut the three shops. An Israeli policeman pushed the shopkeeper’s large cart of merchandise into one of the stores before the doors were welded shut. One of the CPTers urged the policeman to bring the cart out of the shop or allow her to retrieve it for the shopkeeper, but the policeman refused. One British man and four Palestinians were arrested.
The British man was released the next morning at 2:30 a.m. on the condition that he immediately leave the West Bank and not return for 15 days. The four Palestinians are now in Ofer Prison. The brother of the man with the brain concussion reported to CPTers that his brother was never hospitalized.