- Category: Cisgiordania
- Published on Sunday, 12 August 2012 06:04
- Written by the Economist
Jul 28th 2012
the Israelis have been steadily tightening a physical link between the oldest downtown part of Hebron, where the holiest places are situated, with the modern settlement of Kiryat Arba. The tighter the link, mainly in terms of roads and the contiguity and acquisition of Jewish houses in ancient Hebron, the harder it will be, in the event of a two-state settlement, to remove a Jewish presence. “They are strategically planning for the creation of a Jews-only area, which would tie Kiryat Arba, the Cave of Machpela and the other downtown settlements together,” says an expert from a multinational organisation that monitors Hebron. “Over time they want to http://www.economist.com/node/21559663push out any Palestinians from this area with the help of house purchases and military orders that prevent Palestinians from moving around”.
Palestinians’ access to parts of the old city is already restricted. Shuhada Street, which runs through the heart of it just south of a string of four Jewish buildings, all with fortress-like protection, is entirely out of bounds, while Palestinians complain that the settlers make Haram Street, just to the north, unpleasant by throwing rubbish into it from their windows above. The whole of the area on the eastern side of the city known as H2 is heavily patrolled by Israeli security forces, putting Palestinians often on edge. Some say that at least 12,000 of them have left since 1967.