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Israel occupation declares Hebron ‘closed military zone’ to prevent human rights organisations tour

December 3, 2022 at 10:33 am

Hundreds of Israeli and foreign left-wing activists gather in solidarity with its Palestinian residents in the Hebron city, in the southern West Bank on December 02, 2022 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli occupation army on Friday declared the city of Hebron a “closed military zone” to prevent a tour organised by human rights organisations with the participation of hundreds of activists in the city. This came a week after the occupation soldiers in the city attacked Israeli activists who showed solidarity with the city’s residents against settler attacks.

Around 300 activists came to Hebron to participate in a tour organised by 30 human rights organisations in the wake of the recent attacks on Palestinians and Israeli activists in Hebron.

The occupation army claimed it sealed off the city to “prevent friction”. The military occupation has limited the movement of those participating in the tour to a bus stop near the Ibrahimi Mosque.

The tour was organised by the Israeli organisations Breaking the Silence, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Peace Now, B’Tselem and other organisations. The military order took effect at 7 am before the activists arrived for the tour.

According to the occupation army, the order to impose the closed military zone is issued when there is a security need or a necessity to maintain public order, and a specific area must be closed. However, the occupation army allowed the organisation of the tour for human rights organisations, but in actuality, it refused it by issuing this military order. Several right-wing activists demonstrated against the human rights organisations at a call from the far-right Im Tirtzu movement.

READ: Israel bans Palestinians from entering Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron

The occupation soldiers assaulted Israeli left-wing activists in Hebron last Friday, and one of the soldiers was seen throwing an activist to the ground and punching him in the face, while another soldier said: “[Itamar] Ben-Gvir will arrange the situation here.” The commander of the battalion to which the latter belongs issued a decision to imprison him for ten days. However, the Israeli commander of the Southern Command, Eliezer Toledano, decided to reduce the prison sentence to six days.

Two weeks ago, 40,000 settlers participated in a tour in the same area in Hebron where the human rights organisations’ tour took place. Settlers attacked Palestinians as well as Israeli soldiers.