Armed Israeli settlers in the Palestinian West Bank city of Hebron, reportedly invaded, on Saturday afternoon, some local markets in the city, causing panic among local Palestinians.
Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported that a large group of armed colonists invaded the Allaban, Alqasaba and Ein Alaskar local markets and began provoking local shopkeepers and customers, as Israeli soldiers in the area were watching, without intervening.
WAFA, quoting witnesses, said that the provocative actions included staring at local Palestinians in a strange and frightening way.
Earlier this month, Israeli defense minister, Naftali Bennet, endorsed a new colonial settlement project in Hebron, involving confiscation of large areas of Palestinian-owned lands, adjacent to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-recognized ancient Palestinian mosque of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi.
Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Ahmad Al-Tamimi of Hebron, was quoted as saying that such provocative actions by armed colonial settlers are believed to be part of the Israeli occupation’s attempts to undermine the ‘Semoud’ or steadfastness of our people, in light of Israel’s planned annexation of the Palestinian West Bank, expected by July of this summer.
Al-Tamimi issued a statement, in which he called on the international community to curb Israel’s colonial illegal plans, expressing the belief that the Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi mosque of Hebron will remain an Arab-Palestinian heritage, as labeled by UNESCO.