The Israeli occupation authorities today blocked the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) from carrying out renovation work on twelve Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. HRC head Imad Hamdan said that the occupation forces stopped workers from completing the work in Al-Jabari neighbourhood of the Old City.
Hamdan explained that the renovations are regulated by the Palestinian Ministry of Endowments in coordination with the HRC. He explained that the Israeli measures, including the prevention of maintenance, works in the area to protect its heritage, are part of the Judaisation process in favour of illegal Jewish settlements intended to change the Palestinian identity of Hebron.
According to Hamdan, many houses in the area have been abandoned due to harassment by Israeli settlers. In fact, Hebron is known to be an exceptionally hostile environment for Palestinians due to the illegal settlers. Its residents are reported to be living under constant fear of Israeli aggression.
Pointing out that the city has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2017, Hamdan added that the occupation forces use methods such as impeding the renovation work to keep the homes and shops in the area empty of Palestinians. This, he said, makes it easier for Israeli settlers to misappropriate them.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided in July 2017 to include the Ibrahimi Mosque and the old city of Hebron on its World Heritage List. Hebron is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 500 Jewish settlers. The latter live in a series of Jew-only enclaves, heavily guarded by Israeli troops.