fayyaf hebron 311.
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad visited Hebron on
Friday and prayed at the Cave of the Patriarchs on Friday afternoon,
criticizing Israel's decision to add the site and Rachel's
Tomb in Bethlehem to the list of Jewish heritage sites marked for
Speaking to reporters after prayers, Fayyad
accused Israel of "annexing" the Cave of the Patriarchs.
"[Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu's decision is dangerous and political in nature. The site is an inseparable part of the occupied
Palestinian territories," Channel 10 quoted Fayyad as saying.
"This is the main reason we oppose the Israeli government's
decision," Fayyad reportedly said.
a violent demonstration by dozens of Palestinian protesters in Hebron
against the heritage list decision ended on Friday evening.
protesters hurled rocks at IDF troops and Border Police
forces near the Jewish quarter in the city, and security forces were
using non-lethal weapons to disperse the rioters. One protester was
arrested, Army Radio reported.
in Hebron had been on heightened alert, preparing for the possibility
of continued rioting in the city. Officials were concerned that
violence would escalate following sermons during Friday prayers in the
Two Palestinian protesters were reportedly
injured in clashes on Thursday, a day after the Obama administration
sharply criticized Israel for its move.
According to Palestinian
reports, four demonstrators were also arrested in the violence just
meters from the cave, where dozens of youths threw rocks at Border
Police and IDF soldiers.
The security forces fired tear gas cannisters to disperse the protesters, who had gathered to protest the Israeli decision.
government's move, announced Sunday, has drawn wide criticism,
including from the United Nations. US State Department spokesman Mark
Toner said the administration viewed the move as provocative and
unhelpful to the goal of getting the two sides back to the table.
Toner said US displeasure with the designations of the Cave of the
Patriarchs in the flash point town of Hebron and the traditional tomb
of the biblical matriarch Rachel in Bethlehem had been conveyed to
senior Israeli officials by American diplomats.
Netanyahu has attempted to calm the spirits, saying there is
no intention to change the status quo at the worship sites. Freedom of
worship would be maintained, he said, and the purpose of the decision
was to allow renovation and maintain the current status.