Israeli settlers demolish parts of bus station in Hebron's Old City

Israeli settlers demolish parts of bus station in Hebron's Old City
Israeli settlers regularly harass Palestinians and destroy Palestinian property and structures in order to increase their presence in the occupied West Bank's cities and villages.
3 min read
10 July, 2023
Israeli settlers routinely vandalise and destroy Palestinian properties in the occupied West Bank [Getty]

Israeli settlers destroyed parts of a bus station in the Old City of Hebron, southern occupied West Bank, under police protection, local media reported on Sunday.

In videos shared online, the settlers can be seen using bulldozers to demolish parts of the structure, which is located in the centre of Hebron’s Old City.

The settlers destroyed external arches on the garage building’s roofs, which was seized by the Israeli army in the early 1980s and turned into an outpost, Human Rights Defenders Association coordinator Imad Abu Shamsiyya told The New Arab’s Arabic-language site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Parts of the bus station were also reportedly destroyed in a bid to make way for the expansion of the Beit Romano settlement in Hebron, located near Osama bin al-Munqith School, according to the pan-Arab Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily.

Hebron, also known as al-Khalil in Arabic, is home to over 800 extremist settlers who regularly harass and intimidate Palestinians.

The area where the station is located includes an old building that was used as a stop for Palestinian buses coming from occupied Jerusalem and other locations from the Palestinian interior.

The structure consists of two floors, one of which is being used by the Israeli military as an expansion plan for illegal excavations in the entire area, according to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

According to Abu Shamsiyya, Israeli authorities are seeking to implement a plan that was originally proposed in 2017 to survey Palestinian historical places of interest from around the Old City, in a bid to expand the settlement complex built in the area. The illegal settlements include Beit Hadassah, Abraham Avenue, Beit Romano, and Tel Rumeida.

The coordinator added that Israeli forces and settlers aim to rid the Old City’s closed areas of its residents, and isolate them from other Palestinian areas which will leave them vulnerable to settler attacks.

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The Hebron Reconstruction Committee said that it was investigating the excavation and demolition work carried out by the Israeli settlers.

Settlements on occupied Palestinian land are considered illegal under international law, and settler attacks - including property destruction - have been repeatedly condemned by Palestinians and rights groups.

Also in Hebron, Israeli forces arrested four Palestinian men on Sunday, according to the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa.

Local sources told the Palestinian outlet that Israeli forces apprehended the victims following a number of raids on homes in the city’s neighbourhoods.

Hebron, as well as Jenin, Nablus and other Palestinian cities, have been subject to near-daily raids, arrests and violence carried out by the Israeli army.