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November 2, 2018 9:41 am

Israel Renews Efforts to End International Observer Mission in Hebron ‎

avatar by Israel Hayom / JNS.org

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A view of Hebron. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – Israel has renewed its efforts to bring the ‎international observer mission in Hebron to its end, ‎a Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday.‎

The Temporary International Presence in Hebron, or ‎TIPH, is a civilian observer mission that was formed ‎in the wake of the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs ‎massacre, in which Jewish terrorist Baruch Goldstein ‎killed 29 Muslim worshippers and wounded 125 others ‎as they gathered for a prayer service inside the ‎holy site. ‎

The TIPH mission – which comprises of personnel from ‎Italy, Norway, ‎Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey – was ‎originally formed at the invitation of the Israeli ‎government and the Palestinian Authority, with aim ‎of monitoring and recording any violation of ‎international humanitarian law.‎

Recently, however, there has been a growing number ‎of complaints alleging its members are ‎systematically and violently targeting the Jewish ‎community in Hebron. ‎

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This recent development has prompted Israel’s Deputy Foreign ‎Minister Tzipi Hotovely to explore ending the ‎mission’s mandate, and a Foreign Ministry official ‎said that a preliminary review has ‎concluded the mission has outlived its usefulness. ‎

Hotovely ‎has brought the issue to the attention of ‎Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said he would ‎review the matter.‎

‎“The presence of the TIPH force in Hebron causes ‎significant harm to IDF soldiers and the residents ‎of the Jewish community in Hebron, and is ‎inconsistent with Israeli interests,” Hotovely ‎wrote ‎in a letter to Netanyahu.‎ ‎“The mission has become a hostile presence on the ‎ground, and it now sees itself solely as a critic of ‎the IDF, while blatantly ignoring Palestinian ‎terrorist activity in the area.‎”

‎She wrote that “recently, TIPH ‎observers have taken things ‎further: They no longer suffice with unilateral ‎reports against the IDF, but rather employ actual ‎violence against Jews. As we [the government] will ‎soon be required to decide on whether to extend the ‎TIPH mandate, my recommendation is that we do not do ‎so.”

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