palestinian molotov 311.
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinians threw rocks and bottles at IDF soldiers in Hebron Monday
in response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s inclusion the day
before of the Cave of the Patriarchs in the city to the government’s
list of national heritage sites.
The move also drew sharp protest from the Palestinian Authority, its
chief negotiator Saeb Erekat as well as the United Nations Special
Coordinator for the Middle East Process Robert H. Serry.
Palestinians believe that Hebron, as well as Rachel’s Tomb in
Bethlehem, which was also added to the list at the last moment, are
areas of the West Bank that will be part of their state.
Settlers in turn have argued that these are two of the most ancient and
historic Jewish sites and that politics should not be a consideration
in marking them for preservation.
PA spokesman Ghassan Khatib, however, warned that the inclusion of the
sites on the list could take the Israel-Palestinian conflict in a
“We believe that this particular violation is very dangerous because it
might add to the religious nature of the conflict,” Khatib said.
In the Israeli area of Hebron on Monday Palestinians closed their shops
and sporadically pelted soldiers with rocket and bottles. They also
Soldiers responded with tear gas and stun grenades. The Army said no
injuries among soldiers were reported. Palestinians said three
protesters suffered from tear gas inhalation.
By midday, the incident was over, the IDF said.
Hebron’s Jewish community, Noam Arnon, posted a video on its Web site,
which stated that “the tombs of the patriarchs and the matriarchs are a
historical site beginning in the time of the bible and Abraham some
4,000 years [ago]. From then on, this is the first Jewish site in the
world. The building above the cave was built here 2,000 years ago in
the time of the Kingdom of Judea, hundreds of years before Islam
On Monday, however, Erekat said that the “unilateral decision to make
Palestinian sites in Hebron and Bethlehem part of Israel shows there is
no genuine partner for peace, but an occupying power intent on
consolidating Palestinian lands.”
Serry said that “these sites are in occupied Palestinian territory and
are of historical and religious significance not only to Judaism but
also to Islam, and to Christianity as well. I urge Israel not to take
any steps on the ground which undermine trust or could prejudice
negotiations, the resumption of which should be the highest shared
priority of all who seek peace.”
He added that he “would like to see more positive steps by Israel to
enable Palestinian development and state-building in the area and
throughout the West Bank, reflecting a genuine commitment to the two
State solution.”AP contributed to this report.