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PA calls for international measures to protect Hebron from Judaisation

Palestinians react against Israeli soldiers' intervention during a protest against construction of Jewish settlements in Hebron, West Bank on 22 November 2019. [ Mamoun Wazwaz - Anadolu Agency ]
Palestinians protest against the construction of Jewish settlements in Hebron, West Bank on 22 November 2019 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Authority called on Sunday for urgent Arab, Islamic and international measures to protect the occupied West Bank city of Hebron from Israel's Judaisation policies. The PA's Foreign Ministry warned of the policies being imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities and illegal Jewish settlers in Hebron's Old City, targeting Al-Ibrahimi Mosque as well as Palestinian properties.

The PA highlighted the repeated calls by the Israelis and the settlers to expel the Palestinians from the Old City. The settlers — all illegal under international law — aim to extend the Jewish neighbourhood in the city and the demographic around the historic mosque.

Blaming the Israeli government for the consequences of settlers' raids on Palestinian properties in Hebron, the PA also warned that international silence about such breaches of the law are ominous. On Saturday, for example, thousands of Jewish settlers raided Al-Ibrahimi Mosque and erected tents in its courtyard so that they could perform their own rituals. During the incursion, Israeli security officers supporting the settlers closed the mosque to Muslims and prevented the Islamic call for prayer being made.

Around 400 illegal Jewish settlers live in Hebron, mainly in the Old City, where they are protected by around 1,500 Israeli occupation soldiers. In 1994, an extremist settler opened fire with his army-issue rifle at Muslim worshippers in Al-Ibrahimi Mosque during the dawn prayer. He killed 29 men and boys, several as young as twelve, and wounded 125 others before being killed himself. His grave in a nearby illegal settlement remains a place of veneration for Jewish settlers.

READ: Israel's next move is the real danger in the US decision to normalise illegal Jewish settlements

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