Several Palestinian have been injured as clashes broke out between the Palestinians and Israeli forces in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil in a protest to Israel’s decision to designate two shrines as Jewish "national heritage sites."
Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at the stone-throwing Palestinian protesters in Jabal Jouhar, Tareq bin Ziad square, and in At-Takruri districts on the southern end of al-Kalil.
The troops beat the demonstrators with truncheons and arrested two young Palestinians. An Israeli military spokesman claimed that the detainees were "arrested during the violent and illegal riot that took place in Hebron" and taken in for "interrogation."
Palestinian authorities have called on the international community to pressure Israel to renege on its decision to add the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb to the list of heritage sites as it is in line with Israel’s policy of occupation.
The democratically elected Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has called for uprisings in the occupied West Bank over a controversial Israeli plan to confiscate Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in al-Khalil in a "national heritage plan."
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Wednesday that Washington viewed the move as provocative and unhelpful to the goal of getting the two sides back to the negotiation table.