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Occupation magazine - Activism

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Israeli military respond with tear gas to Open Shuhada Street demonstration
CPT Hebron
25 February 2010

On 25 February 2010, the sixteenth anniversary of Dr Baruch Goldsteinís massacre of 29 Muslim worshippers in Hebronís Ibrahimi Mosque, demonstrators attempted to walk on Shuhada Street, closed for years to Palestinian pedestrians and drivers, but were prevented from doing so by the Israeli military. Actions in solidarity with Al Khaliil/Hebronís Open Shuhada Street demonstration were held on the same day in a number of locations around the world.
In Al Khaliil/Hebron the day of action began at 0530, with early morning Muslim prayers in the mosque to remember those who died in the 1994 massacre. At lunchtime Palestinian political figures held a press conference by the Ibrahimi Mosque. Following this, they walked down to Shuhada Street and attempted to walk along it. However, Israeli military blocked their way and forced them off the street.
An estimated one hundred demonstrators assembled in the afternoon and arrived in the Abu Sneineh district above Shuhada Street at 1450. Hebronites were joined by Palestinians from elsewhere in the West Bank as well as by Israeli and international supporters. There was a heavy Israeli military presence for the demonstration.
Although there was brief localised stone throwing by Palestinian boys watching the demonstrators walk through their neighbourhood, the Palestinian leadership was determined that the demonstration would be free from violence. Despite the Israeli militaryís prolonged and repeated use of tear gas and percussion grenades the demonstratorsí discipline held and the action remained non-violent throughout. Tear gas was fired in succession at different points into and beyond the crowd, in some instances blocking off routes of escape for those attempting to leave the scene. Several demonstrators and passers-by suffered ill effects from the tear gas and were taken to hospital in Palestinian ambulances in attendance. There are unconfirmed reports that the military detained two Israeli activists. Towards the end of the action, Israeli special forces rushed into the crowd and detained an international activist.
The demonstrators dispersed around 1645.
For photographs of the demonstration go to

Christian Peacemaker Teams is an ecumenical initiative to support violence reduction efforts around the world. To learn more about CPT`s peacemaking work, visit our website Photos of our projects are at A map of the center of Hebron is at$File/ocha_OTS_hebron_oPt010805.pdf?OpenElement

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