The Exodus

Human rights groups say Israeli curbs on Palestinians in the West Bank town of Hebron have forced thousands of them to leave homes and close businesses. B’Tselem and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said Israel had in effect expropriated central Hebron to protect some 650 Jewish settlers there. Israel had breached the Geneva Convention prohibiting forced transfer, which was a war crime, the groups said. The Israeli military says curbs are to maintain order and protect life.

“The policy of separation founded on ethnic criteria has caused a massive exodus of Palestinians from Hebron’s city centre,” the joint human rights report said. “Israeli activities have been carried out on the basis of a preferential policy toward settlers that has turned the centre of Hebron into a ghost town.” [BBC]

Above: The Fruit Market, 1990s. Below: The Fruit Market, 2007. Photos: Na’if Hasalmon, al-Watan Center, Keren Manor, ActiveStills.

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