Israel plans new settler homes in flashpoint West Bank city

IDF eliminates Palestinian hurling firebombs at Israeli vehicles

IDF eliminates Palestinian hurling firebombs at Israeli vehicles

Israel has approved a new settlement on the site of a Palestinian market in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, prompting anger from Palestinians who blame a recent shift in United States policy.

The city is holy to both Muslims and Jews and is a flashpoint for clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers.

"Israel's decision to build a new illegal settlement in occupied Hebron is the first tangible result of the USA decision to legitimise colonisation; this can not be taken out of the context", said Saeb Erakat, Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. It states that Israel's building of settlements on Palestinian territories constitutes a violation of worldwide law.

About 800 Israeli settlers live in the ancient city under heavy military protection, amid around 200,000 Palestinians.

The meaning of Bennett's move is that following many years in which the issue was stuck due to a dispute between the residents of the Jewish community and the Arab residents of Hebron, the planning process for a new Jewish neighborhood will begin, to eventually create a territorial continuum from the Cave of the Patriarchs to the Avraham Avinu neighborhood, and also double the number of Jewish residents in the city.

Peace Now said however that the land legally belongs to the Hebron municipality and its residents had a protected tenancy that prevented them from being evicted without legal grounds, though this had been disregarded by Israeli courts, paving the way for the new settlement.

Israel has been in control of the Palestinian-majority West Bank since the Six-Day War in 1967.

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