BEIRUT

Middle East

Hundreds demand reopening of key Hebron street

Palestinians scuffle with Israeli soldiers in the center of the West Bank city of Hebron, on February 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX

HEBRON, Palestinian Territories: Palestinians held a protest Friday in the West Bank city of Hebron to demand its main street be reopened, 20 years after the Israeli military closed it on security grounds.

An AFP correspondent said about 1,000 Palestinians joined by Israeli and international activists marched from the Ali mosque to a flashpoint Israeli military post on Shuhada Street, chanting "Stop occupation" and "No occupation, no settlements."

Troops called on the marchers to disperse, and when they ignored the order fired stun grenades and tear gas, he said.

Some protesters threw stones at the soldiers, who arrested three Palestinians, he said.

A dozen marchers were wounded in clashes by rubber-coated bullets, medical sources said. Three more suffered from tear gas inhalation but did not need hospital treatment.

Shuhada Street was partially closed to Palestinians after Jewish extremist Baruch Goldstein, a doctor from the nearby Kiryat Arba settlement, gunned down 29 Muslim worshippers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, on February 25, 1994.

Six years later, at the outset of the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, the army declared it a "closed military zone," restricting Palestinian access to residents of the immediate area, on foot only.

 

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