About Shuhada Street, Hebron

Some of the most negative ramifications of the occupation of Hebron include the miserable story of the city's busiest commercial hub situated at Shuhada Street.

It began 19 years ago in 1994 and persists until the present.

Shuhada Street was a traditional marketplace in the ancient town of Hebron (West Bank) for decades.  It lies at the heart of the city close to the famous historical Ibrahimi Mosque.  It used to be a busy shopping center full of life with rows of stores.  Since the last 19 years the area has virtually turned into a ghost locality.  With all businesses shut, it looks desolate, deserted, silent and shabby due to lack of maintenance.        

During the Holy month of Ramadan in February 1994, a bloodthirsty American-born Israeli-Zionist/terrorist named Baruch Goldstein barged into the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, shot dead 29 Palestinian worshipers and seriously wounded at least 120.  The incident is remembered as "Cave of the Patriarchs massacre."  Goldstein's shooting spree stopped only after his gun ran out of bullets.  The criminal was soon overpowered and beaten to death by survivors in the Mosque.  An appalling crime of this nature would have knocked down any one with a feather.  But its condemnation was lukewarm from the Israeli community. Many even tried to dismiss the heinous crime claiming "insanity" which is the standard excuse for all North American, European and Ashkenazi criminals  as if they are the only ones entitled to feeling emotionally distraught.  Presently, with Zionist fundamentalism being far more intense than it was two decades ago, the illegal Jewish settlers of Hebron laud Goldstein as a "hero" for the attack and he has been labeled a "martyr."

As usual, it's the Palestinian people who have to bear the consequences of Goldstein's murderous attack against them.  It served as an excuse on a platter to the Israeli government to grab another large portion of Hebron.

Soon after the incident, the Israeli army began fearing reprisal attacks by Palestinians on Jewish settlers in Hebron.  For the safety of those illegal settlers, the IDF shut down the entire marketplace of Shuhada Street.  All shops were forced to close.  Most Palestinians living in Shuhada Street had to leave their homes and settle elsewhere. Few Palestinian families that are still living within the boundaries of this locality have to use side entrances or climb over roofs or crawl in through open windows and balconies to reach their houses. Even Palestinian pedestrians are not allowed to walk on the main Shuhada Street any longer.  Since 19 years all business activities by Palestinians at Shuhada Street have been prohibited. 

There have been  numerous protests every year, usually in February, since 1994 and will  continue to take place.  But as yet to no avail.

The population of Palestinians in Hebron is 180,000 while the number of illegal settlers in the town are 800.  Adding insult to injury, the Israeli authorities are allowing these Jewish settlers and tourists to move freely in Shuhada Street but no Palestinians are permitted there.  On Jewish religious and festive seasons, plenty of Jewish settlers residing in Hebron congregate at Shuhada Street in celebratory moods while the Palestinian residents close by can only peep out of their windows at best, to watch the scenario outside.

Shuhada Street is the "main artery of Hebron."  After its closure, it's become virtually impossible for Hebron to function as a cohesive city with endless inconvenience caused to the indigenous Palestinians.

The purpose of this blockade is to provide better protection and safety to the 800 illegal Jewish settlers who have occupied Hebron.

Here are some images of the once crowded shopping center at Shuhada Street (Hebron) which used to be full of endless hustle and bustle, the protests for its return to the indigenous people of Hebron and persecution of Palestinians if they're caught walking on Shuhada Street.