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MK Meir Porush (Agudat Yisrael) blamed left-wing Jewish activists for inciting Arab residents of Hebron to desecrate prayer books and Bibles at the Machpela Cave Friday.
David Wilder, a spokesman for the Jewish community in Hebron, said that on Friday afternoon the torn remains of the holy books were found blowing on the ground near the Gutnik Center, adjacent to the Machpela Cave.
The desecration took place during one of the 11 days allotted to Muslim prayers in the month of the Ramadan when the Machpela Cave is closed to Jews, said Wilder.
"As we searched the area for the ripped pages, Arab residents looked on with enjoyment," said Wilder.
The same day of the incident, Peace Now and Shovrei Shtika, two left-wing organizations, demonstrated for the immediate pullout of all Jewish settlers from Hebron.
In a letter, Porush asked Meretz-Yahad to use its influence with Peace Now and other left-wing groups to refrain from demonstrating at the Machpela Cave.
"I do not deny these groups' right to demonstrate, even if I personally oppose the demonstration's message. However, at a time when Israel's defense forces warn of escalated attempts by terrorist groups to carry out attacks, left-wing organizations should exercise restraint. I am sure that Meretz-Yahad will understand this and act responsibly."
Peace Now secretary-general Yariv Oppenheimer called Porush's claims "stupid."
"The Arab residents of Hebron do not need us to provide them with excuses to hurt settlers, destroy property or attack Jewish symbols.
"It is enough to be a Palestinian and live side by side with violent, aggressive settlers who destroy Palestinian property. That is a more rational explanation for Palestinian violence than blaming us."
In four weeks, a special Jewish prayer will take place at the Machpela Cave to coincide with the reading of the Torah portion that recounts the purchase of the cave from Efron the Hittite by the Jewish Patriarch Avraham.
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