Clashes broke out in Hebron on Friday during the annual ‘Open Shuhada Street’ demonstrations organized by Youth Against Settlements.
Starting after midday prayer, protests erupted outside the Israeli checkpoint in the Old City in Central Hebron.
Protestors threw stones and ignited tires outside of the checkpoint. In response, IOF forces launched ‘sound bang’ grenades and arrested at least one protestor.
As in previous years, the crowd included foreigner activists involved with international affiliates of the Open Shuhada Street movement.
Al-Shuhada street in Hebron’s historic Old City was closed after the 1994 Cave of the Patriarch’s Massacre in which 29 worshippers were killed and 125 wounded when an American-Israeli settler open fired on worshippers in the Ibrahmimi Mosque.
As a result, al-Shuhada street, the main street leading through the heart of the Old City and to the mosque, was closed and the mosque partitioned to accommodate separate Jewish and Muslim prayer areas.
The street was reopened in 2000 but failed to reignite the once thriving market place for the which the street was known.
It has since become a source of contention between Palestinians in Hebron and the Israeli settlers from the Avraham Avinu settlement who occupy territory right in the old city, opposite al-Shuhada. Regular spates have violence occurred in the highly contested area.
*All photos by author