Announcing 4th Annual OPEN Shuhada St Campaign (22-25/02/2013)

We are very excited to announce the upcoming 4th annual Open Shuhada St. Campaign from 22-25 February 2013.

The Open Shuhada St. Campaign (OSC) is a Palestinian initiative, aiming to organize an International day of solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Hebron. It was started in 2010 in Hebron and international solidarity actions took place in numerous Cities around the world. In 2012 more than 35 different activities were organized.

The Israeli state has imposed on the Palestinian residents of the city a regime of forced evictions, curfews, market closures, street closures, military checkpoints, subjection to military law including frequent random searches and detention without charge, and lack of protection from rampant settler violence, which has pressured approximately 15,000 Palestinian civilians to flee their homes in the Hebron city center, turning it into a virtual ghost town.

The Israeli occupation forces closed Shuhada St. to Palestinian vehicles in 1994, after the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, and then Prevented Palestinian residents to walk there in 2000, in order to provide security for the 600 Israeli settlers occupying the center of Hebron.

More than 500 stores were closed by military order in the center of Hebron, and more than a thousand store owners were forced to close their shops due to checkpoints and closures. At the same time, illegal settlers enjoy freedom of movement in the closed streets and are protected by occupation forces.

The activities of the occupation and its settlers in the city of Hebron have turned the lives of 200,000 Palestinians in Hebron into a living hell and expelled thousands from their homes.

On 25 February 2013 activists and organizations from around the world will join together in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Hebron/ al Khaleel, through local protests and actions that demand for the opening of Shuhada Street to Palestinians and an End to the Israeli Occupation!

Shuhada Street used to be the principal street for Palestinians residents, businesses and a very active market place in the Palestinian city of Hebron/ al Khaleel. Today, because Shuhada Street runs through the Jewish settlement of Hebron, the street is closed to Palestinian movement and looks like a virtual ghost street which only Israelis and tourists are allowed to access. Hate graffiti has been sprayed across the closed Palestinian shops and Palestinians living on the street have to enter and exit their houses through their back doors or, even sometimes by climbing over neighbor’s roofs.

In 1994, following the massacre of 29 Muslims at prayer by America-Israeli settler Dr. Baruch Goldstein, shops on Shuhada Street were closed and vehicular traffic prohibited on the street. Despite a court case and an admission by the Israeli government that it is illegal, the street is still closed to Palestinians 16 years later. We are focusing on Shuhada Street as a symbol of the settlement issue, the policy of separation in Hebron/al Khaleel and the entire West Bank, the lack of freedom of movement, and the occupation at large.

If you would like to organize and be part of OPEN SHUHADA ST CAMPAIGN 2013 in your city or your University campus please get in touch with us at media.yas@gmail.com. Also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED in (OSC)

OSC offers ordinary people around the world an opportunity to partake in something truly global. If you would like to get involved and organize your own OSC event or action let us know so that we can share with you the OSC Basis of Unity and organizing principles. Here are some ways that you can actively get involved:

1.  Demonstrations, Marches, Vigils, Flashmobs

2. Organize a film screening about Hebron

3. Arrange a lecture, workshop,Presentation

4. Organize a BDS action.

5. Join us online

6. Photo Exhibitions concerning Apartheid in Hebron

7.Twitter: Use this hashtag #OpenShuhadaSt to spread the word and educate the masses about Hebron.

8.Video Message: Create and send video messages to community forums, media, and social media outlets urging the international community to use diplomatic pressure to re-open Shuhada Street

9.Letter-writing and Petitions to the Israeli Ambassador and elected officials in your country asking them to intervene

10.Write letters to the Palestinian Families in Hebron to show solidarity

11. Close roads to show the public the effects of closing the main road in Hebron. 

12. Visit Hebron to gain an understanding of the situation and the daily suffering of the people living there.

13.   Any other non-violent activity you feel supports the cause, be as creative as possible!!

 

For more information please visit our website WWW.HYAS.PS

Or by Email Media.yas@gmail.com




About Youth Against Settlements

We are a national Palestinian non-partisan activist group which seeks to end Israeli colonization activities in Palestine (building and expanding settlements) through non-violent popular struggle and civil disobedience.
We are based in Hebron, one of the areas hardest hit by the Israeli occupation. Ostensibly to protect approximately 600 fundamentalists Israelis that have forcibly established a settlement right in the heart of Hebron, the Israeli state has imposed on the Palestinian residents of the city a regime of forced evictions, curfews, market closures, street closures, military checkpoints, subjection to military law including frequent random searches and detention without charge, and lack of protection from rampant settler violence, which has pressured approximately 13,000 Palestinian civilians to flee their homes in the Hebron city center, turning it into a virtual ghost town. The

we would like to ask is why is the well-being of 600 Israeli civilians so much more important than that of thousands of Palestinian civilians? The fact that for over 40 years Israel has insisted on maintaining complete control over the Hebron city center, de-facto annexing it in every meaningful way including giving Israelis financial incentives to move there, yet treats the civilian inhabitants of the area extremely differently solely on the basis of their ethnicity, can be called nothing but apartheid.

In addition, Hebron is also surrounded by Israeli settlements, and the residents of the outskirts of Hebron are constantly subject to harassment, violence, and land theft. In many cases settlers have constructed settlement outposts, illegal even under Israeli law, on private Palestinian land, while Palestinian complaints to Israeli authorities are completely ignored. In protests against these outposts, we, along with Israeli peace activists and the owners of the land, build our own structures next to the illegal outposts, only to be met by violent settlers and the Israeli army and police. Our completely non-violent protesters face arrests and detention, while Israeli soldiers and police ignore acts of violence and assault committed by settlers right in front of them. We, the owners of the land and their guests, are forcibly removed from the land by a Closed Military Zone order (as well as tear gas and sound grenades), while the settlers, who the Israeli state admits are trespassing on Palestinian-owned land, are usually explicitly allowed to stay. In rare cases where they too are ordered to leave, they are allowed to return immediately without interference while we are tailed by Israeli armed forces and continue to be hassled. Our structures, built with the permission and participation of the land owners, are demolished immediately for lack of a permit, while the settler outposts, also built without a permit on land they don't own, are allowed to remain. The actions of the Israeli army and police in these cases clearly show that the Israeli state is not simply an innocent bystander in the settlement outpost enterprise, as it claims, but is actively enabling land theft.


Vision:
A 100% non-violent, mass Palestinian uprising of civil disobedience that pressures the Israeli government to dismantle the settlements and end the Occupation.

Goals:
1. Study the colonial strategy of expansion and development of settlements.
2. Raise the awareness level of the local and global community about the methods of land confiscation and theft from Palestinian land owners for settlement-related purposes.
3. Resist all the stages of Israeli colonization, from the planning of settlements to their construction and expansion.
4. Expose Israel's colonial plans and strategies.
5. Support the presence of the Palestinians on their lands that are vulnerable to confiscation by Israel for settlement expansion.
6. Close the gap between local Palestinians and associations and the governmental and non-governmental organizations that work within the scope of resistance and study of Israeli settlement-related activities.

Strategies:
1. Establishing direct contact and continuous follow up with Palestinians in threatened regions.
2. Raising awareness through news letters, advertisements, broadcasting footage, holding workshops and conferences, and any other effective means.
3. Collecting information about settlement activities and organizing, archiving and distributing it.
4. Pursuing legal means such as filing complaints and raising court cases before Israeli and international courts.
5. Building an active network of supportive local, Israeli and international organizations.
6. Non-violent direct actions and civil disobedience like demonstrations, protests and defying racist laws of the occupation.
7. Recruiting all sectors of the Palestinian community to resist and stand against colonial activities on their lands.
8. Spreading the importance of economic and non-economic boycott of settlements, such as labor in settlements, trade with settlers, and buying settlement products.

Participation Regulations:
1. Believing in, and committing to, our goals and means of struggle.
2. Voluntary work to achieve our goals.
3. Taking action through non-violent civil disobedience.
4. The ability to commit to dates and contribute effectively to activities.
5. Never participating in any activity that serves the settlements or supports them.
6. Moral and patriotic commitment, and respect for the beliefs, traditions and general values of Palestinian society.
7. Commitment to assigned tasks and roles.
8. Rejecting partisan fundamentalism, and any possibility of claiming individual or partisan credit for group activities.
9. Expressing respect towards women and their equivalent role to men in resisting colonization and settlement activities, as well as the equivalent roles of all sectors of society.