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Clashes over shrines continue in West Bank

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Clashes over shrines continue in West Bank


There has been a fifth consecutive day of clashes in the West Bank as Palestinians continue to protest Israeli plans to put two holy shrines on a list of its heritage sites.

In Hebron, demonstrators threw stones at Israeli security forces who responded with stun grenades and tear gas.

Israel announced on Sunday that the two sites, Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarch in Hebron, would be included in a cultural restoration plan. The move has been described as “provocative” by US officials and criticised by the UN and parts of the Israeli press.

Palestinians are furious. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that the Tomb of the Patriarch, which for Muslims is a sacred mosque, is an inseparable part of Palestinian land that Israel occupied in 1967.

All week, there have been stone-throwing protests in the West Bank. In Gaza, ruling Palestinian group Hamas has called for a new intifada, or uprising, against Israel in response to the plan, which the Israeli prime minister said has been “misunderstood.”

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