I just witnessed as Israeli soldiers shot tear gas and rubber bullets at Palestinians peacefully marching to demand access to the main commercial street of their city. The youth responded with stones, and chaos ensued. More than a dozen were injured or detained. Now, they are calling on us for help.
The situation is totally unjust -- Hebron is a city with nearly 200,000 Palestinian residents, who are banned from their main street, while 800 Israeli settlers, protected by Israeli soldiers, are allowed full access. If we can get key diplomats to visit the city, we could help expose this repressive segregation.
When diplomats themselves bear witness to this injustice, they will be more motivated to act. We have to act fast as more peaceful actions are planned now and there could be more violence. Let’s flood key Consuls General in Jerusalem with messages to send a mission to visit the Governor of Hebron and speak out. Send an urgent message now:
Shuhada Street is an iconic symbol of the crushing subjugation of Palestinians under the Israeli occupation. What used to be a bustling shopping street has now become a ghost road with massive concrete boulders and heavily armed young soldiers at checkpoints at each end. Palestinians who need to pass through to go to work or home can be held for hours for no reason, harassed or humiliated.
Israel says it pushed out thousands of Palestinian families and shop owners from the heart of their city for security reasons. But the closure and increasing illegal colonisation by violent Israeli settlers in the area is in fact increasing tensions and insecurity.
Right now, the US government says it is negotiating a peace deal, but until there is an end to these endless violations of Palestinians’ basic rights, it's hard to imagine real peace. Let’s send the Consuls General an urgent message to meet with the Governor of Hebron before anyone else is detained or hurt:
Months ago our community came together to raise funds for these courageous families that are peacefully standing up to the daily violence of living under occupation. Now they are calling on us to stand with them. Let’s answer their call and help get them their rightful access to the heart of their city.
With hope and determination,
Nick, Alice, Rewan, Ari, Ricken and the entire Avaaz team
Palestinians demand Shuhada St. reopened after 20 years
Saving the West Bank's Shuhada Street
An Exclusive Corner of Hebron
Hebron city center
Remembering the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre
Hebron marks 20th anniversary of massacre
Hebron massacre: Twenty years on
PHOTOS: 20 years since Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre
WATCH: 20 years since the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre in Hebron