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Israel settlers attack Palestinian families in Hebron

Image of Israeli settlers in West Bank on 31 August 2010 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Apaimages]
Image of Israeli settlers in West Bank on 31 August 2010 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Apaimages]

A group of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian families and attempted to take over two homes on Saturday in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Local activist Aref Jaber told Ma’an that a group of Israeli settlers “attacked” two homes in the Old City and attempted to take them over, demanding the families leave their homes.

The homes belonged to the Jaber and Kfeisheh families.

Jaber added that the same group of settlers had previously taken over a home belonging to the Al-Zaatari family, near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City.

“These continuous threats by Israeli settlers are meant to terrify Palestinian families in order to force them to leave their homes.”

Read: Israel settlers call for ‘death to Arabs’ on violent spree

Some 6,500 Palestinians and 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers live in the Old City of Hebron, according to a 2016 report by legal rights NGO BADIL.

Palestinian residents of the Old City face a large Israeli military presence on a daily basis, with at least 32 permanent and partial checkpoints set up at the entrances of many streets.

Additionally, Palestinians are not allowed access to Al-Shuhada Street, with any homes and shops on the street having been welded shut. Israeli settlers however move freely on the street.

The Israeli occupation “expropriated” large areas of the Ibrahimi Mosque and allocated it for Jewish use only following the 25 February 1994 massacre of Muslim worshippers by a settler. US-born Israeli Baruch Goldstein walked into the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron armed with a Galil assault rifle.

Read: Israel soldiers joined in as settlers assaulted Palestinians

Goldstein opened fire at the hundreds of Muslim worshippers who were at the mosque during Ramadan, the month of fasting. He reloaded at least once, continuing his barrage for as long as possible before finally being overpowered and eventually beaten to death. By the time he was stopped, 29 worshippers were killed, and more than a hundred had been injured.

In response, Israeli occupation forces set up a “closed military zone” around the mosque, restricting Muslim access to it, and “annexed” a large area of it for settler use.

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