Arab Groups Renew Demand to Reopen Chevron Street

A view of Me’aras Hamachpeleh, in Chevron. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
A view of Me’aras Hamachpelah, in Chevron. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Arab and leftist groups have renewed their campaign to force the evacuation of IDF soldiers from the Tel Rumeida section of Chevron, and specifically from Shuhada Road, a marketplace road that was closed down 17 years ago in the wake of terror attacks against Jews in Chevron. The Palestinian Authority and international leftist groups have long demanded the reopening of the road to Arab business and traffic, and this week will embark on an international pressure campaign, recruiting governments and institutions in Europe to pressure the government to change the current status quo there.

A PA spokesperson said that the purpose of the campaign was to show the “suffering of local residents of the street and in the neighborhood.” The campaign will entail tours for hundreds of groups, especially Christian groups who are in Israel for the season. The purpose of the tours is to prompt the visitors to pressure their governments to push Israel on the matter.

“We shall unveil to the visitors the difficulties faced by residents and how the occupation prevents them from living a normal life,” said Sa’id Imad Hamdan, one of the campaign organizers.

The street has been closed to Palestinian vehicular traffic, and shops and warehouses have been closed on and off since 2000, because of ongoing rock, firebomb, and stabbing attacks against Jews living in Chevron. The army has taken up positions on the street to separate Jews and Arabs.