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Israeli army bans ‘Breaking the Silence’ from Hebron settlement

Israeli security forces in the West Bank city of Hebron [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]
Israeli security forces in the West Bank city of Hebron [Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

The Israeli occupation forces blocked activists from army veterans’ group Breaking the Silence from entering an illegal Israeli settlement in Hebron to conduct tours, reported Haaretz.

According to the paper, “the army said restrictions on the tours were only temporary”.

On Thursday, “soldiers approached members of the organisation in the street and ordered them to leave the city”, Haaretz said.

“The soldiers said the order prohibiting entry to the city’s Jewish community was issued by Judea Brigade commander Col. Itzik Cohen, who did not specify a time limit for the order.”

The paper reports that Jewish settlers in Hebron have been pressuring the Israeli occupation authorities, who apparently “promised them that Breaking the Silence would no longer be permitted in the settlement”. An army source “denied that the order was the result of such pressure.”

Read: Israel extends education law to settlements

Earlier this month, a settler was recorded shouting at Israeli soldiers who were accompanying a Breaking the Silence tour: “It’s illegal for them to stand here; the brigade commander said they wouldn’t. They can pass through, but not stand.”

“This is the last time they come here. If I see them here again, everyone that backs them and the soldiers will be punished because the brigade commander promised they wouldn’t stand here.”

The army told Haaretz that the ban is only “temporary”, and that the order “would be updated soon in order to allow the tours of Hebron to continue”. The army source also claimed a meeting was scheduled with Breaking the Silence – something denied by the group itself.

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