The Palestinian cabinet has held a symbolic protest against Israel in a row over holy sites.
Instead of holding their weekly meeting in Ramallah, Palestinian ministers moved to Hebron, the flashpoint town at the heart of the dispute,
Israel wants to add two shrines- the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem- to its national heritage list. But Palestinians argue the sites are located on West Bank land intended for a future Palestinian state.
Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad said from outside the cabinet offices in Hebron:
“Clearly, in its political dimension it represents a clear violation of international law. It deals with sites that are clearly located in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”
The Hebron site is sacred to both Jews and Muslims; while Judaism knows it as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Muslims call it the Ibrahimi Mosque.
When Israel announced its heritage plan, it drew international criticism and sparked daily confrontations between Israeli police and Palestinian youths in Hebron. In Jerusalem on Sunday, there was evidence that the tension and the clashes are spreading.