The Hebron Reconstruction Committee, in the old city of Hebron, reported that residents of the old city are suffering from the presence of 400 settlers living their and heavily guarded by the army.

The settlers are living in five settlement outpost which were connected to Keryat Arba’ settlement in the center of Hebron and other settlements in the area.

Settlers presence in the city is causing daily tension between them and the residents, especially amidst the repeated attacks carried out by extremist settlers groups against the residents and their properties. 

The Committee reported that the residents in the old city are facing harsh living conditions while the settlers continued their attacks and controlled several stores and buildings, especially buildings adjacent to their outposts.

Nearly 800 stores in Hebron are closed as a result of the attacks, some of these stores are controlled by the settlers, while other stores are located in areas which were declared as closed military zones in order “to protect the settlers”.

Military operations in the city are adding more hardships to the lives of the residents; during the years of the Intifada which started late September 2000, soldiers imposed curfew over Hebron and several surrounding areas for a total of 700 days.

The army broke into homes, conducted military searches and arrested dozens of residents, in addition to detaining hundreds of residents and interrogating them for several hours.

Recently, Israeli soldiers blocked the entrances of the old city with concrete blocks and iron gates in addition to barbed-wires turning the old city into a big prison.

Since the beginning of the Intifada, soldiers closed 800 stores in the old city, in addition to 2200 stores which became inaccessible to the residents as a result of military roadblocks and the presence of settlers outposts.

Also, the army is barring the Palestinian residents from using several streets in the city, such as Al Shuhada Street, Al Shahla Street, Bab Al-Khan area, and the Old Clothes Market, while the settlers have free access. 

The army also leveled several ancient buildings after barring the Hebron Reconstruction Committee from preserving the buildings which carry historical significance.

The committee, and in spite of the military procedures, managed to reconstruct 650 flats for the residents, and is currently reconstructing 120 other flats.

Also, the committee is attempting to limit the expansion of illegal settlement outposts which are surrounding the Palestinian homes and ancient buildings, in addition to attempting to help the Palestinian families in that area by providing them with health insurances, and other social services.

Several appeals were filed by the committee to the Israeli High Court of Justice, against the attacks carried out by settlers and soldiers against the residents and the buildings, in addition to reconstructing the market and aiding some residents in order to create projects which help improve the economical situation of the residents.

The appeals were filed after the committee managed to report dozens of attacks, and formed a legal committee to file complaints against these attacks, and expose the violation carried out by the settlers.

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