Palestinians living in the heart of Al-Khalil’s Old City have been suffering unbearable oppression inflicted on them by Israeli occupation forces and settlers.
This oppression, Arab48 reported, started when the city was first occupied in 1967, but it escalated the following year when Jewish settlers, protected by occupation forces, established the settlement of Kiryat Arba to house 250 Israeli Jewish families.
The illegal settlement was built on private Palestinian land owned by 23 Palestinian families. It has been expanding since then and it hosts 8,000 Israeli Jewish settlers today. It is considered the main settlement artery in the Old City.
As a result, Israel has banned Palestinians from accessing Al-Shuhada Street, previously a major thoroughfare with shops and a bustling market, leaving it only accessible to illegal settlers.
The Ibrahimi Mosque nearby has also been split to accommodate a synagogue following the 1994 massacre carried out by extremist settler Baruch Goldstein who killed 29 Palestinians as they prayed in the mosque.
The oppressive measures have forced 1,400 Palestinian family out of the city, many after losing their homes to settlers as occupation courts continuously rule against the indigenous population.
Some 1,829 shops were closed by military order.
Some 88 Palestinians were killed in Al-Khalil’s Old City between 2000-2007 at the hands of occupation forces.