Dozens of Palestinians staged demonstrations on Saturday outside the Al-Baraka hospital complex in the southern West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil) to protest the occupation of the premises by Jewish settlers.
The demonstrations, which included a number of Palestinian Christians, were organized by local popular resistance committees.
“Palestinians will never accept Israel’s policy of illegal Jewish settlement,” Fr. Attallah Hanaa, a Palestinian Christian clergyman who participated in the protest, told Anadolu Agency.
“We will always reject Israel’s seizure of Islamic and Christian institutions,” he said.
“We are of this land; it is our home, our history, our identity,” the priest added. “And we will never surrender it to the Israeli occupiers.”
According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the settlers claim to have purchased the hospital complex from a U.S.-based Christian NGO through a Swedish firm that served as middleman.
Located near the Al-Aarub refugee camp, the hospital complex sits on 40 dunums of land and comprises eight buildings (a dunum is roughly equivalent to one acre).
Since its establishment in the 1940s until its closure some four decades later, the hospital had provided free services to Palestinians who suffered from tuberculosis.
According to Palestinian residents of the area, Israel plans to build a new Jewish-only settlement on the site, which sits adjacent to thousands of dunums of agricultural land.
The city of Hebron is home to some 200,000 Palestinians and some 500 Jewish settlers, with the latter residing in a number of Jewish-only settlement compounds – heavily guarded by Israeli troops – in the city’s center.