HEBRON, September 24, 2013 (WAFA) – Heeding calls by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to occupy a Palestinian building in Hebron following the killing of a soldier in the city, Israeli settlers Tuesday moved into the Rajabi house west of the Ibrahimi mosque, also known as Tomb of the Patriarchs, according to an international peace group.
The Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) said it learnt from the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee that the settlers, who were evicted from the building in April of last year, have reoccupied it.
“The resettlement of the Rajabi house is a significant risk directly to the community of Hebron, international law and human rights, as settlements are illegal under international law and impede the ongoing peace process,” said CPT.
“The location of the Rajabi house will constitute a severe threat to the freedom of movement for Palestinians. The house sits between two Palestinian schools and an Israeli military checkpoint. If the settlement remains, it will be in the middle of an area where hundreds of Palestinian children must pass in order to attend early morning classes,” it added.
CPT said the Israeli military has increased its presence in Hebron during the Israeli Sukkot celebrations by placing additional soldiers on the ground and occupying Palestinian homes as military outposts in and around the area of the Rajabi house.
As a result, school attendance at the al-Faihaa girl’s school and the al-Ibrahimmiye had dropped and al-Faihaa school was even shut down completely on Monday because so few students were able to attend classes.