Is­raeli troops in He­bron crack­down af­ter shoot­ings

Kuwait Times - - NEWS -

HE­BRON: Is­raeli forces blocked yes­ter­day ex­its from the south­ern West Bank city of He­bron as they launched a man­hunt for as­sailants af­ter shoot­ing in­ci­dents tar­get­ing Jewish wor­ship­pers and a soldier. Two Is­raeli teens were shot and wounded on Fri­day at the flash­point site known to Jews as the Tomb of the Pa­tri­archs and Mus­lims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, the army said.

Around 4,000 Jewish wor­ship­pers were vis­it­ing He­bron on Fri­day and yes­ter­day as part of a reli­gious pil­grim­age cen­tered around the bi­b­li­cal ma­tri­arch Sarah, who ac­cord­ing to tra­di­tion was buried in a field which even­tu­ally be­came part of the city He­bron. A soldier was also shot and wounded on Fri­day near the Pales­tinian vil­lage of Beit Anon north of He­bron. Army spokesman Lieu­tenant Colonel Pe­ter Lerner said there was “on­go­ing ac­tiv­ity to lo­cate the per­pe­tra­tors of yes­ter­day’s at­tacks”.

Is­raeli forces were search­ing Pales­tinian homes in and around He­bron as well as set­ting up new check­points for ve­hi­cles and peo­ple, an AFP reporter said. In ad­di­tion the army blocked off the north­ern en­trance of He­bron with mounds of dirt. The east­ern en­trance has been sealed off for days. Is­raeli rights group B’Tse­lem on Fri­day crit­i­cized the army for car­ry­ing out “im­moral and un­law­ful” mea­sures which it said hin­der Pales­tinian free­dom of move­ment in He­bron, in­clud­ing clos­ing off the Tel Rumeida neigh­bor­hood.

“Th­ese steps con­sti­tute col­lec­tive pun­ish­ment of res­i­dents of He­bron who are sus­pected of noth­ing and are forced to suf­fer se­ri­ous dis­rup­tions in their daily lives,” the group said. He­bron has 200,000 Pales­tinian res­i­dents with ap­prox­i­mately 500 Is­raeli settlers liv­ing in the cen­tre, pro­tected by an army-pa­trolled buf­fer zone. The sit­u­a­tion is a con­stant source of ten­sions. Also on Fri­day a 72-year-old Pales­tinian woman was shot dead by sol­diers af­ter al­legedly at­tempt­ing to ram them with her car nearby He­bron.

Fri­day’s un­rest broke a brief lull in the wave of deadly at­tacks and vi­o­lent protests through­out Oc­to­ber that raised fears of a new Pales­tinian in­tifada, or up­ris­ing, against Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion. Most of it had oc­curred in and around He­bron and mainly in­volved Pales­tinian stab­bing at­tacks. There were no clashes or at­tacks in the city yes­ter­day as troops searched for the as­sailants. But an army spokes­woman said a soldier was slightly wounded by “an ac­ci­den­tal dis­charge of a bul­let near a mil­i­tary po­si­tion in He­bron”. — AFP

SHARM EL-SHEIKH: Tourists sun­bathe in the Egyp­tian re­sort of Sharm El-Sheikh yes­ter­day. Bri­tain had on Novem­ber 4, 2015, sus­pended all flights to and from the re­sort over con­cerns the crashed Rus­sian plane which flew out of Sharm may have been brought down by a bomb. — AFP

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