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PA Accuses Israeli Army of Encouraging Settler Violence


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PA Accuses Israeli Army of Encouraging Settler Violence

Thursday, 13 January, 2022 - 11:00
The Israeli army arrested a Palestinian near the Cave of the Patriarchs last Friday during Palestinian protests against the presence of settlers (EPA)

The Palestinian government has accused the Israeli army of coordinating with the settlers to carry out attacks on the villages and residents of the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said that the invasive Israeli practices seek to change the historic, legal, and demographic status quo in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, US Army officers were given a tour of the West Bank city of Hebron led by the spokesman for the city's Jewish settler enclave, in a trip organized by a senior Israeli commander.

The office of Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, the head of the military's Central Command, contacted the Hebron settlement's extreme-right spokesman, Noam Arnon, to ask him to lead the full-day tour.

Arnon posted pictures from the tour on Facebook and wrote: “I was happy to host a delegation of senior American officers who came to hear, learn, get to know, and be impressed.”

“We were moved remembering that even in our times, the name of Abraham unites all those who desire peace in the entire world and that the peace agreements are called the ‘Abraham Accords’.”

Arnon added that the request to guide the US officers was received from the secretariat of the Central Command and that Fuchs was the go-between.

He revealed that the responsibilities of the US officers who participated in the tour included training Palestinian security forces.

Haaretz newspaper quoted reliable sources as saying that the Israeli defense officials criticized the event, saying it could harm relations between Washington and the Palestinians.

One defense source said that it is highly important to preserve the status quo at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and that a one-sided tour without the participation of Palestinian representatives could raise tensions concerning security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

In addition to touring the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the trip included a visit to the museum of the Jewish community of Hebron in Beit Hadassah.

"The tour of the cave was about the Jewish history of the site," said a statement by the Israeli army.

“As part of the ongoing tours that are held regularly, the American delegation meets with various people in the State of Israel as well as in the Palestinian Authority,” it said.

“This is in order to learn about the area in the best way possible. Dr. Noam Arnon was chosen to guide this tour. The tour was held according to the established regulations in the Israeli army,” the statement added.

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