Israel locks down flashpoint Hebron after deadly attacks
ISRAELI troops locked down the occupied West Bank’s most populous city Hebron and surrounding villages yesterday after two Israelis were killed in Palestinian attacks nearby.
The crackdown comes amid a flare-up in nine months of deadly violence as the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan looms, and after key diplomatic players called for urgent steps by both sides to revive the moribund peace process.
The army had earlier said it would also deploy two additional battalions to the area.
The measures were described as the “most substantial steps on the ground” since 2014, when Israeli forces carried out a huge search operation in the southern West Bank for three young hitchhikers abducted and later found murdered by Palestinian militants.
At least 214 Palestinians, 34 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese have been killed in a wave of violence that has rocked Israel and the Palestinian territories since October last year.
The army has said that around 80 of the attacks on Israelis have been carried out by Palestinians from the Hebron area.
Several hundred Jewish settlers live in a tightly guarded enclave in the heart of the city of more than 200,000 Palestinians, a persistent source of tensions. –