PHOTOS: In Hebron, demonstrators demand reopening of Shuhada Street

During a protest against the closure of the Shuhada Street, Palestinians march under wire screens placed above the street to protect Palestinians from stones and trash thrown by Israeli settlers occupying buildings above, in the West Bank city of Hebron, February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)
During a protest against the closure of the Shuhada Street, Palestinians march under wire screens placed above the street to protect Palestinians from stones and trash thrown by Israeli settlers occupying buildings above, in the West Bank city of Hebron, February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Hundreds of Palestinian demonstrators, including foreign and Israeli activists, gathered in Hebron on Friday to mark the 19th anniversary since the IDF imposed a closure on the city’s Shuhada Street. The closure followed the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre, perpetrated by Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein, who went on a rampage inside the mosque and killed 29 Palestinian worshipers.

The marchers first gathered at Bab Izzawiya near “Checkpoint 56,” proceeding to Hebron’s old city. They first stopped at a steel and concrete barrier blocking off Shuhada Street, which was scaled by several youths who planted several Palestinian national and political flags on top. The march was then blocked by the Israeli military, which placed barbed wire barricades across the street and used sound bombs and tear gas to disperse marchers. Demonstrators who later regrouped and returned were met with the “skunk truck,” a water cannon loaded with a foul-smelling liquid. The skunk water was also directed against members of the media (including an Activestills photographer).

For much of the afternoon, Israeli forces traded tear gas and sound bombs with stone-throwing Palestinian youth in running street clashes. There was at least one report of a Palestinian youth injured by live ammunition, and many others treated for tear gas inhalation and other injuries, including one Palestinian journalist.

Eventually, Palestinian Authority police were deployed as Israeli forces withdrew in an apparently coordinated effort to draw the demonstration to a close.

Demonstrators climb on a fence, built by the Israeli army to close Shuhada Street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
Demonstrators climb on a fence, built by the Israeli army to close Shuhada Street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

A demonstrator carries bolt cutters during a march against the continued closure of Shuhada Street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
A demonstrator carries bolt cutters during a march against the continued closure of Shuhada Street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

Demonstrators bare their chests at an Israeli military barricade during a protest against the continued closure of Shuhada street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
Demonstrators bare their chests at an Israeli military barricade during a protest against the continued closure of Shuhada street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

An Israeli soldier aims a tear gas launcher at demonstrators during a protest against the closure of the Shuhada Street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron, February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)
An Israeli soldier aims a tear gas launcher at demonstrators during a protest against the closure of the Shuhada Street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron, February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

 

Demonstrators flee tear gas launched by Israeli forces during a protest against the closure of the street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron, February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)
Demonstrators flee tear gas launched by Israeli forces during a protest against the closure of the street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron, February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

 

Israeli forces target members of the media with the “skunk truck”, a water canon loaded with a foul-smelling liquid, during a protest against the continuing closure of Shuhada Street to Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron, February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)
Israeli forces target members of the media with the “skunk truck”, a water canon loaded with a foul-smelling liquid, during a protest against the continuing closure of Shuhada Street to Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron, February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

 

Demonstrators clash with the Israeli army during a protest against the continued closure of Shuhada street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)
Demonstrators clash with the Israeli army during a protest against the continued closure of Shuhada street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

 

An Israeli soldier throws a sound bomb at fleeing demonstrators during a protest against the closure of Shuhada Street to Palestinians, Hebron, West Bank, , February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)
An Israeli soldier throws a sound bomb at fleeing demonstrators during a protest against the closure of Shuhada Street to Palestinians, Hebron, West Bank, , February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

 

Demonstrators clash with the Israeli army during a protest against the continued closure of Shuhada street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)
Demonstrators clash with the Israeli army during a protest against the continued closure of Shuhada street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

 

Demonstrators clash with the Israeli army during a protest against the continued closure of Shuhada street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
Demonstrators clash with the Israeli army during a protest against the continued closure of Shuhada street to Palestinians, in the West Bank city of Hebron February 22, 2013. (Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)