Hebron is the only Palestinian city that has internal Jewish settlements. Hebron, therefore, is a sobering symbol of how Palestinians are affected by the policies of the occupation. The Old City of Hebron is completely fragmented through the presence of barriers, closures, military zones and settlements. As a result, it is difficult to develop a clear understanding of how the structure of the Old City is disintegrating and part of it is altering into a Judaized quarter. These creeping policies of occupation prohibit freedom of movement and suffocate the social and economic life for Palestinians. Israel uses this fragmentation in the Old City to produce urbicide, resulting in the displacement of the urban population. This political and military strategy is used to protect, maintain, connect, and expand the Jewish settlements.
From the information available about the situation in Hebron, one would think it is a strictly religious conflict. However, the reality is that the conflict is about the possession of land.There is no other way to visualize a conflict for land other than with the tool of a map. Due to the difficulty in understanding the causes of the abandonment of the Old City, the purpose of the map is to show a clear factual representation of the situation. The map shows how the Old City of Hebron is gradually being sterilized to facilitate colonization and Judaization of the Old City. The map easily illustrates how Israel’s strategy of Judaization is based on the ethnic-expulsion of the Palestinian population.
The primary intention of the project is to give users an objective tool with which to form their own opinions about the situation. The interactive map, using easy-to-understand graphics, creates a simple tool that sheds light on this very complex social and political reality. In highlighting the facts, the project aims to bring international attention to the apartheid policies occurring specifically in Hebron while still reflecting the reality facing The West Bank as a whole.
The choice to make the map interactive is to give users a more comprehensive picture with detailed information. This map contains links to documents to deepen the users’ understanding. Some of the documents show the urban strategies and tangible elements of the apartheid through images, others try to describe the human side of the conflict through the stories of some of the families living under occupation.
The aim is to create a database for analysis and comprehension, and not a narrative of the situation.
Since Hebron’s Old City is rarely discussed from an urban point of view, we hope this interactive map can act as a method to understand the current situation in depth. Urban analysis can be used to explain the complexity of occupation by describing the severity of the policies of expropriation, separation and segregation.
Describing the conflict through the narration of facts is a way to increase the international community’s awareness and to encourage them to take a stand. We fully believe that objective information is a form of nonviolent resistance.