B’Tselem: Israel holding 750 families in Hebron’s Area H2 under curfew for last month
Since the war broke out on 7 October 2023, the military has been imposing a curfew on 11 neighborhoods in Area H2 in Hebron. Stores and businesses have been shut down and thousands of people, amounting to about 750 families, are imprisoned at home. Only after two weeks of full curfew, on 21 October 2023, did the military permit residents to leave home on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. Venturing out of the house requires crossing checkpoints and engaging with soldiers. This invariably involves humiliating treatment and meticulous body searches, and takes up most of the brief window of time allotted to the residents. As a result, many cannot get back in time to the checkpoint and have to stay out an entire day or night until it reopens. This prevents residents from getting what they need, and some are running low on food, water, medication and cooking gas.
The curfew has completely disrupted life in H2. Residents cannot get to work and school or visit family, and all the businesses are closed. They are living in complete uncertainty, without knowing when they will return to normal. Meanwhile, settlers in Hebron are enjoying full freedom of movement, which they use to harrass residents and damage their property. There is no justification for keeping hundreds of people under a blanket movement ban, locked up at home for weeks on end. Israel is taking advantage of the fact that local and international attention is currently diverted from the West Bank to impose far-reaching measures that constitute collective punishment, which is prohibited under international law. This conduct is integral to Israel’s apartheid regime, which is at its most flagrant in Hebron.