Born Into Occupation, Fighting for Basic Human Rights

A demonstration against the closure of Shuhada Street in Hebron. The street was closed by the Israeli army in 1994 after a massacre by Baruch Goldstein, who killed 29 Palestinians inside the Al Ibrahimi Mosque.

 

JUNE 5, 2017 MARKS 50 YEARS since the Naksa, or “setback,” when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza strip (2017 is also 69 years since the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” when 700,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homes and lands to make way for the establishing of the State of Israel). Qiryat Arba, the first Israeli settlement in the West Bank, was established in the outer Hebron area in 1968. Eleven years later the Beit Hadassah area of Hebron’s Old City was taken over by settlers who squatted in buildings in order to take them over. The Israeli government later expanded the Beit Hadassah settlement and built a yeshiva. There are now 560,000 illegal Israeli settlers living the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Around 500 of these settlers live within Hebron’s city center and an additional 7,000 are in Qiryat Arba.

I was born into Occupation in the old city of Hebron in 1980, thirteen years after the Occupation began. When I was a child, my father used to hold my hand tightly as we walked through Shuhada Street because it was so crowded. In 1994 Brooklyn-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire in the Ibrahimi mosque killing 29 Palestinians in worship and injuring some 120 more. In response to the massacre, the Israeli army boarded up and sealed shut Palestinian storefronts and homes on Shuhada Street. While settlers now roam freely on Shuhada Street, carrying machine guns, pistols, and other weapons, Palestinian families that live on the street have to use back doors, alleyways, and rooftops to enter their homes. The once vibrant marketplace where my father used to hold my hand now resembles a ghost town.

How to Read the Rest of This Article

The text above was just an excerpt. The web versions of our print articles are now hosted by Duke University Press, Tikkun’s publisher. Click here to read an HTML version of the article. Click here to read a PDF version of the full article.

Source Citation

Tikkun 2017 Volume 32, Number 2:63

 
tags:   
Tip Jar Email Bookmark and Share RSS Print
Get Tikkun by Email -- FREE

COMMENT POLICY Please read our comments policy. We invite constructive disagreement but do not accept personal attacks and hateful comments. We reserve the right to block hecklers who repost comments that have been deleted. We do have automated spam filters that sometimes miscategorize legitimate comments as spam. If you don't see your comment within ten minutes, please click here to contact us. Due to our small staff it may take up to 48 hours to get your comment posted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*