AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military attacks nonviolent demonstration protesting closure of Checkpoint 56

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CPTnet
4 December 2014

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military attacks nonviolent demonstration
protesting closure of Checkpoint 56

At a demonstration to protest the closure of Checkpoint 56
in Hebron on Saturday 29 November 2014, a torrent of teargas and sound grenades
rained down from Israeli forces, who were occupying rooftops above Bab iZaweyya.
 Leading onto the small section
of Shuhada
street
 on which Palestinians are allowed to walk, Checkpoint 56
connects Bab iZaweyya (the commercial district which marks the boundary between
Israeli-controlled
H2
and Palestinian Authority governed H1 areas) to the neighbourhood
of Tel Rumeida.  Last week the
checkpoint was set on fire during clashes, and the checkpoint has been closed
by Israeli forces ever since.  This
act of collective punishment forces the families living in Tel Rumeida walk an
extra hour—or that they walk through the residences and gardens of other
Palestinians—to reach their own homes.  These families therefore organised a nonviolent demonstration
to protest this closure because it is another example of the daily harassment
and routine restriction of the rights and movement of Palestinians living under
occupation.

The families from Tel Rumeida and the organisation ‘Youth against Settlements,’
some of whom were waving flags and chanting “no to the occupation,” marched to
the checkpoint.  It took less than
a minute for Israeli forces on the rooftops to fire the first teargas canister
into the crowd of people, swiftly following up with a sound grenade.  In the half hour that followed,  they fired at least fifteen tear gas
canisters and twelve sound grenades  into the busy square of Bab i-Zawiya.  As anger and frustration at the Israeli
military mounted, Palestinians threw stones,  but they did not reach the rooftops occupied by the heavily
armed Israeli soldiers and police. 

The two CPTers present,  who were documenting, monitoring and photographing what was
initially a nonviolent demonstration, also found themselves targeted by sound
grenades and teargas by Israeli police.  With the demonstration violently suppressed, clashes
continued into the afternoon. 

Video footage of the demonstration taken by CPT is available
here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhfv9sz8xh0&feature=youtu.be

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