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Israel stepping up support for settlers in Hebron

For the first time, Israel is sending support to the settlement outposts in the occupied city.

Jerusalem24 – Israel Channel Seven reported on Wednesday night that Israeli Minister of Interior, Ayelet Shaked, has assigned 500,000 shekels for what was described as “developing municipal services” provided to the Israeli settlers in Hebron.

Then Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked presented with the state comptroller’s annual report at the Ministry of Justice in Jerusalem on March 24, 2019. (Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

According to the channel, during her tenure as Minister of Justice several years ago, Shaked worked to establish a committee that would allow the provision of municipal services to the settlers in Hebron.

During Shaked’s term as Justice Minister back in 2017, the then commander of the Israeli army in the West Bank signed a decision to establish a municipal services directorate for settlers. Since then, it has remained a local authority and has not yet been officially approved as a municipality that provides full services.

The former commander of the Israeli army in the West Bank in 2017, during Shaked’s term as Minister of Justice, signed the decision to establish a municipal services directorate for settlers, and it has remained since then as a local authority, but it has not yet been officially approved as a municipality that provides full services.

Hebron is a Palestinian city in the southern occupied West Bank, 30 kilometers (19 mi) south of Jerusalem. The largest city in the West Bank, in 2016 it had a population of over 215,000 Palestinians, and seven hundred Jewish settlers concentrated on the outskirts of the Old City of Hebron.

Blocked passageway from a-Shuhada Street, which is off-limits to Palestinians,
April-May, 2019. (Photo Credit: Eyal Hareuveni, B’Tselem)

In the ABC of the OPT, by Michael Sfard, Hedi Viterbo and Orna Ben-Naftali the city is often described as a “microcosm” of the Israeli occupation, where you can see Israel’s practices all over the West Bank in one city.

After the Six-Day War in June 1967, Israel occupied Hebron along with the rest of the West Bank, establishing a military government to rule the area. In an attempt to reach a land for peace deal, Yigal Allon proposed that Israel annex 45% of the West Bank and return the remainder to Jordan.

In the spring of 1968, Rabbi Moshe Levinger, together with a group of Israelis posing as Swiss tourists, rented from its owner Faiz Qawasmeh the main hotel in Hebron and then refused to leave.

The Labor government’s survival depended on the religious Zionism-associated National Religious Party and was, under pressure of this party, reluctant to evacuate the settlers. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan ordered their evacuation but agreed to their relocation to the nearby military base on the eastern outskirts of Hebron which was to become the settlement Kiryat Arba.

After heavy lobbying by Levinger, the settlement gained the tacit support of Levi Eshkol and Yigal Allon, while it was opposed by Abba Eban and Pinhas Sapir.

A net installed in the Old City that prevents garbage dropped by Israeli settlers to hit Palestinians.

After more than a year and a half, the government agreed to legitimize the settlement. The settlement was later expanded with the nearby outpost Givat Ha’avot, north of the Cave of the Patriarchs.

The Hebron Protocol of 1997 divided the city into two sectors: H1, controlled by the Palestinian Authority, and H2, roughly 20% of the city, including 35,000 Palestinians, under Israeli military administration.

The Hebron model of claiming sites in Palestinian territories has pioneered a pattern for settlers in Bethlehem and Nablus. Many reports, foreign and Israeli, are sharply critical of the behavior of Israeli settlers in Hebron.

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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