According to Israeli media outlets, the new Israeli Defense Minister, Naftali Bennett, approved, on Sunday, the planning of a new settler neighborhood in the in the city of Hebron, in the southern occupied West Bank, the Palestinian News and Info Agency reported.
The defense minister’s office said in a statement that Bennett had ordered the relevant offices within the Israel defense forces to inform the Hebron municipality that planning was starting for the new neighborhood near the city’s old wholesale market area.
Mayor of Hebron, Taysir Abu Sneineh, warned of the repercussions of this decision, which he stressed will ignite the entire region, and lead the situation to an irreversible explosion.
Abu Sneineh declared that the municipality of Hebron, and the Palestinian leadership, will put forth all its efforts to thwart this plan, protect the Palestinian land, and preserve the property of civilians.
He insisted that the world must break its silence and oblige the [Israeli] occupation government to comply with the United Nations resolutions and international law which criminalize any changes in occupied territory.
Earlier on Sunday, Israeli occupation forces accompanied by dozens of settlers, threatened Palestinian owners of shops near Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque, to close their shops and leave the area or they will be evicted by force of arms.