Moving House in Hebron ‒ A Mission That’s All But Impossible

Since the mid-1990s, the Israeli military has imposed a policy of segregation in the center of Hebron. As part of this policy, major streets in the area have been declared off limits to Palestinians, some entirely and others only to vehicles. One street on which Palestinians are only allowed on foot is a-Sahla Street, which lies south of al-Haram al-Ibrahimi (the Tomb of the Patriarchs). Checkpoints have been placed at either end of the street – Checkpoint 160 at one end and the Pharmacy Checkpoint at the other.

At around midday, ‘Abd al-Jaber went with three cousins – Shadi, Fadi and Nadi Abu Sneineh – to the Pharmacy Checkpoint with a truck loaded with the contents of their apartment. After unloading the furniture, they asked the soldiers to let them through the checkpoint. The soldiers refused and told them to take the furniture through Checkpoint 160, about a kilometer away.

The four men had no choice but to reload the furniture on the truck, and ‘Abd al-Jaber and Shadi drove it to Checkpoint 160. And then they were arrested.

According to B’tselem “Israel’s policy of segregation and restricting the movement of Palestinians in central Hebron, coupled with abuse, violence and daily harassment by security forces and settlers, have made life there intolerable for Palestinians. As a result, thousands have moved out of the area. The tight military control and Israel’s policy of segregation gives rise to absurd situations in which even ordinary acts such as moving house is physically and logistically all but impossible, involving massive efforts and damage to property – not to mention the emotional cost of risking confrontation and punishment.”

Related: Full reportage by B’Tselem including video