Open The Zone moved

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The Tel Rumeida neighborhood and Shuhada Street have been held under closed military zone order since November 1, 2015.  For 186 days only registered Palestinian residents have been allowed to enter the area. This means that no family, medical professionals, human rights observers, reporters, family, or repairmen are allowed, and Palestinians have to pass through checkpoints to reach their homes. Often ambulances must wait on the other side while a family has to carry the patient down the street and through the checkpoint.


The closed military zone order serves the purpose of pressuring families to leave their homes, thereby further ethnically cleansing the area and creating more space for illegal settlers to take over. So far, more than ten families have left the neighborhood. The closed military zone is a thinly-disguised attempt at forced displacement of the Palestinians in the Israeli-controlled part of Hebron.

The army assigns numbers to each Palestinian inside the closed area and requires then to state their number when entering through the main checkpoint at the entrance to Shuhada Street.

Palestinians are people, not numbers. #OpenTheZone

The Open the Zone Campaign is a joint effort between Youth Against Settlements and International Solidarity Movement

Marwa (1)

Children under 16, that do not have an ID, are not assigned a number like their parents and are thus not degraded to a number – but can also not prove that they are ‘registered’ residents in the closed military zone. Instead, if ordered by soldiers, they have to show their birth certificates. 13-year old Marwa explains: “I was once asked to prove that I live in Tel Rumeida. The soldier told me to go home and get my birth-certificate and come back. I never went back, but since then, I always bring it in my back. It does not say where I live, but there is a number on it, that they can check in the computer.” Since the closed military zone was implemented, Marwa has become more scared of going to school, because of the checkpoint. She does not feel safe and the whole set-up of the checkpoint is frightening, as she is inside a ‘box’ where no-one on the outside can see what is happening to her.

Watch the interview with Marwa

Aisha photo

10-year old Aisha lives in the closed military zone. She does not go outside to play because when she goes outside settlers throw stones at her. Her friends cannot come to her house to play because they do not live in the “zone.” Aisha is afraid when she goes through the checkpoint because the soldiers point their guns at her. “It is like living in a prison.”

Watch the interview with Aisha