Jewish worshippers descend on scene of violent West Bank clashes

PNN/Bethlehem

 

JEWISH worshippers have  begun to descend on the site of some of the most violent West Bank protests in recent weeks.

Rachel’s Tomb, in Bethlehem, has been the site of daily clashes between Palestinian protesters and police.

At least two people have been killed and hundreds more injured, and the streets are regularly engulfed in toxic tear gas.

rachel's tomb
Clashes at Rachel’s Tomb yesterday.

But this morning, the IOF erected concrete blocks as a protective screen and ushered Jewish worshippers to the holy site.

They are also expected to attend tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday, as part of the Shabbat. The trips are being made as part of an annual pilgrimage.

 

Less than 24 hours ago, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) passed a resolution listing both Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron as Muslim sites.

 

Trouble in the area often erupts on Fridays, which are a Muslim holiday.

Rachel’s Tomb is located at a military base and the 300 checkpoint next to the Aida refugee camp, which is populated by Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war or Nabka.

A schoolboy was shot dead by an Israeli sniper around 500 metres from the site two weeks ago, enraging locals and leading to the current rioting, arrests and punitive measures by the IOF on the main road near the checkpoint.

And a 27-year old man who worked in a local hotel was also killed after throwing a Molotov cocktail at soldiers whilst protesting in the area last week. His funeral was attended by around 30,000 people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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