Shabbat Chayei Sarah in Hebron
Once a year Jewish settlers visit the city of Hebron to read the Chayei Sarah (Sarah’s Life) Torah Portion. According to the Jewish belief, Hebron is the city of the forefathers of Judaism and they are all buried there, in the Cave of the Patriarchs.
On Friday, November 18, 2022, some thirty thousand settlers and their supporters came to the city. One thousand soldiers protected them. On Saturday, the soldiers ordered the Palestinian residents to close their businesses in the Palestinian neighborhoods of the city and fenced the area so the settlers could march in the streets. During the march, the marchers chanted nationalistic and racist slogans, beat Palestinians, threw bottles and stones at them, and turned over market stalls. Those who tried to protest or to defend themselves were brutally stopped by the soldiers, who did nothing to stop the assailants.
Tel Rumeida is a neighborhood in Hebron where both Palestinians and Jews live. Palestinians who live there can enter and exit the neighborhood on foot only, through several military checkpoints located in the area, even when bringing in supplies. All this do not apply to the Jewish residents.
On that Saturday, hundreds of Jewish rioters attacked the Palestinians in Tel Rumeida. They fired at houses, shattered doors and windows, and beat the Palestinian residents with clubs. Seventeen Palestinians, some of them children, were hospitalized.
On the following Friday, Jewish activists who strive for peace between all religions, visited the families who were attacked. During the visit, a soldier attacked one of the activists for no obvious reason. The soldier strangled the activist, knocked him to the floor, punched him in the face and broke his nose. Issa Amro, a resident of Tel Rumeida whose house was also attacked, documented the soldiers, and therefore detained.
Two weeks later, three hundred Israelis who joined a Breaking the Silence tour to Hebron, were stopped by the military and were not allowed to enter the city.
Time and again the military turns the blind eye when settlers act violently, and then blames Palestinians and Human Rights activists for that violence.