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Netanyahu To End International Observer Mission In Hebron

Source: Jerusalem Post

January 30 2019


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to expel international observers from the Palestinian city of Hebron in the West Bank, reports the Jerusalem Post.

Israel will no longer support the presence of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

The TIPH consists of 64 international civilian observers from Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. 

The group monitors compliance with a 1997 agreement that transferred control over 80 percent of Hebron to Palestinian authorities, with 20 percent remaining under Israeli military control.

The observers primarily patrol the Israeli-held part of the city and report on possible Israeli abuses against Palestinians. The patrols were intended in part to allow Palestinians to feel more secure in that part of Hebron.

Netanyahu has come under increasing pressure from right-wing politicians and the Jewish community in Hebron to not renew the mandate for the observers. The mandate must be renewed twice a year by both sides. It was due for renewal at the end of January.

The TIPH has come under scrutiny after a pair of incidents last year, reported Haaretz (Israel). In one, a Swiss observer was deported after allegedly slapping a Jewish boy. In another, police said a TIPH worker was filmed slashing the tires of a vehicle belonging to a Jewish settler in Hebron.

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