- Title: WEST BANK: Palestinians and Israeli soldiers clash over shrines
- Date: 26th February 2010
- Summary: HEBRON, WEST BANK (FEBRUARY 25, 2010) (REUTERS) CROWD OF PALESTINIANS HURLING STONES ISRAELI BORDER POLICEMEN IN STREET MORE OF PALESTINIANS THROWING STONES PALESTINIAN MAN RUNNING BETWEEN SMOKE GRENADES MORE OF CLASHES PALESTINIAN YOUTH TEARING ISRAELI FLAG, STEPPING ON IT VARIOUS OF PALESTINIAN YOUTH BURNING TYRES IN STREET PALESTINIAN BOY USING SLINGSHOT VARIOUS OF ISRAELI SECURITY FORCES FIRING STUN GRENADES CLOSE OF RIFLE ISRAELI SECURITY MAN FIRING STUN GRENADE PALESTINIAN RESIDENT WALKING OUTSIDE TOMB OF PATRIARCH, A SITE HOLY TO BOTH JEWS AND MUSLIMS THAT WAS INCLUDED IN ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU'S NATIONAL HERITAGE PLAN MOSQUE MINARET / ISRAELI SOLDIERS WALKING IN STREET VARIOUS OF ISRAELI SOLDIERS IN STREET NOAM ARNON, SPOKESMAN FOR THE JEWISH SETTLER COMMUNITY IN HEBRON SPEAKING WITH REPORTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) NOAM ARNON, SPOKESMAN FOR THE JEWISH SETTLER COMMUNITY IN HEBRON, SAYING: "The cave (tomb) of the Patriarchs and matriarchs, this is the birth right of the Jewish people. We demand this place to be a traditional Jewish site not as the Muslims did. Under the Muslim occupation Jews and Christians were denied access from the cave of Machpela, the Tomb of Patriarchs, but we as Jews, we open it to all. But our right should be recognized." ISRAELI POLICE WATCHING JEWISH SETTLERS PRAYING MAN LEADING PRAYER JEWISH RABBI SITTING PRAYING VARIOUS OF JEWISH SETTLERS PRAYING
- Embargoed: 13th March 2010 12:00
- Topics: International Relations,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVAD105QQOK2WQWF4VRP8JC5HJSM
- Story Text: Clashes broke out on Thursday (February 25) between Palestinian residents and Israeli soldiers in Hebron for the fourth consecutive day, over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to include two West Bank shrines in a national heritage plan.
On Sunday (February 21) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he intended to include Rachel's Tomb, near the city of Bethlehem, and the Tomb of the Patriarchs -- a site holy to both Jews and Muslims -- in Hebron, in a national plan to rehabilitate some 150 Jewish and Zionist heritage sites.
Netanyahu's announcement set off violent Palestinian protests and condemnations from Palestinian officials, who fear both sites will become off-limits to them once they become official Israeli heritage sites.
Noam Arnon, spokesman for the Jewish settler community in Hebron, told Reuters the two shrines should be recognised as traditional Jewish sites.
"The cave (tomb) of the Patriarchs and matriarchs, this is the birth right of the Jewish people. We demand this place to be a traditional Jewish site, not as the Muslims did. Under the Muslim occupation Jews and Christians were denied access from the Tomb of Patriarchs, but we as Jews, we open it to all. But our right should be recognized," Arnon said.
Later on Thursday, Jewish settlers held a prayer rally near the holy site ahead of the Jewish holiday of Purim, in support of Netanyahu's heritage plan.
Security is tight at both sites - but especially at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, which has been a flash-point for years, with 400 Jewish settlers living in heavily guarded enclaves in the city, surrounded by 150,000 Palestinians.
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