23 September 2013
AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military increases stranglehold on Hebron’s Old City area in preparation for Sukkoth
Israeli military searching and detaining Palestinian males
Israeli security forces have added random check points, confiscated Palestinian housing units for patrol towers, and increased random searches of Palestinians, ostensibly to provide security for settlers and Jewish visitors to Hebron for the Jewish Holiday of Sukkoth.
Meanwhile, clashes also took place outside Checkpoints 209, which CPT monitors as part of its school accompaniment, and 29 near the Ibrahimi Mosque/Cave of Machpelah. To prepare for the large influx of Jewish tourists, the Israeli military had moved the roadblocks outside these two checkpoints approximately 200 meters further down the road and re-directed Israeli tour buses down this route. This move effectively enlarged area H2 under Israeli military control and disrupted life for hundreds of Palestinians.
Clashes started in the morning around these checkpoints as Israeli soldiers fired rounds of tear gas, sound bombs, and rubber-coated metal bullets onto the streets for several hours—lasting until dark.
Soldiers injured several Palestinians, including some shot during clashes in Bab iZaweyya, the economic center of Hebron just outside of the Old City.
As the night progressed, soldiers shut down checkpoints 29 and 209 completely, detaining and arresting several groups of Palestinians around the area. They also prevented human right observers from monitoring the escalations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Soldiers took the Palestinians they detained to areas where human rights observers could not enter.