Lieberman Orders Construction in Central Hebron

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's Defense Minister. (Photo: via Twitter)

Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered that an apartment block is constructed on top of the central market in Hebron (Al-Khalil) in the occupied West Bank.

The apartments will be built in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood of occupied Hebron, which is illegally settled by Israelis. Despite the fact that those Palestinian vendors who rely on the market for their income currently hold protected tenancy agreements – which allow them to rent and use the market stalls – Israel has worked to dismantle these legal protections.

This Israeli initiative has been ongoing for several years, but recently Lieberman intervened and requested that the legal advisor to the defense establishment, Attorney Itai Ophir, formulate a legal opinion that would allow the building procedures to advance, according to Arutz Sheva.

Lieberman said of the breakthrough that

“We have continued the momentum of Jewish development in Hebron in a way that has not been seen in 20 years”.

He added:

“We will continue to strengthen the Hebron community with deeds”.

The move comes less than a month after Israel approved a budget of 22 million shekels ($6 million) to build a new illegal settlement in central Hebron. The settlement – which will be comprised of 31 units including a kindergarten and other public facilities – will be located between Beit Roman and Al-Shuhada Street, which has been closed to Palestinians since 1994 when extremist Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire at Muslim worshippers inside the Ibrahimi Mosque, killing 29 and injuring 150 others.

In October it emerged that Israel’s illegal settlements receive 144 million shekels ($39 million) in government funding for regional councils. The report, undertaken by the Knesset’s Research and Information Center, disclosed that the Israeli government gives 25 percent of its regional council budget to councils in the occupied West Bank, despite the fact that they only account for five percent of all Israeli regional councils.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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