We are grateful to Youth Against Settlements who gave us an explanation yesterday of life in the H2 section of Hebron – of not being allowed to walk in certain streets (Shuhada Street being the prime example) and having to walk through the cemetery whilst settlers get to use the roads and pavements. Plus there is a constant threat of settler violence which is common here. Within the 1 sq km local to their offices there are 20 checkpoints, each of which can detain you for up to 3 hours at whim. ICAHD reconstructed the second floor of this building in 2007 which is now used an office and meeting place for peaceful activism in the area, after soldiers took over the house to use as a military base, trashing it in the process.
Issa Amro told us how important it was that we had joined them and were here to witness the ‘facts on the ground’, saying “for sure I don’t need your sympathy. I want you to act… A lot of people are talkative, but there are only a few people doing real work on the ground. Your presence here is very important.”
Over the next week and a half we will be visiting more groups, communities and individuals who are resisting this brutal Occupation, plus making space for review and debriefing sessions back at our camp, to work out how we can translate this experience into local campaigns and activism when we all return to our home countries.
Find Youth Against Settlements’ important video testimony of their experiences here: http://www.youthagainstsettlements.org/videos