Palestinians anxious after settlers riot in Hebron

The pilgrimage of settlers to biblical judge's tomb, left local bazaar in ruins and injured several, raising condemnation amongst Palestinians and Israelis across the board and questioning the future of local trade relations

Einav Halabi|
The violence clashes on Saturday, in which settlers rioted in the West Bank city of Hebron, left Palestinian residents vexed, angry, and concerned of the future in the tense enclave.
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  • Over 30 thousand visitors flocked to Hebron this weekend for a religious event that included a pilgrimage to the tomb of biblical judge Othniel.
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    עימותים בחברון
    עימותים בחברון
    Clashes in Hebron
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The settlers began clashing with local residents and the troops who were on hand to protect them and maintain order, Hurling objects including live chicken, at Palestinians, ransacking stores and cars, causing damage and woundiong one soldier and two Palestinian residents, one of them a 12-year old girl.
    The Palestinians, specifically the merchants, claim that these riots were exceptionally harsh, and pointed fingers at the IDF for failing to protect them from the extremist Jews.
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    עימותים בחברון
    עימותים בחברון
    Clashes in Hebron
    (Photo: Reuters)
    "We want everyone to profit and benefit from good trade, from all sides, but when the settlers, backed by the army, damage our businesses and inflict terror - this is a horrible thing," said Abdu Idris, chairman of the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hebron, which promotes the interests of the local merchants.
    "What happened will bring on indirect damage, the merchants are still scared. We have not witnessed such a thing in the last years," he added.
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    עימותים ב חברון במהלך שבת חיי שרה
    עימותים ב חברון במהלך שבת חיי שרה
    Damage from clashes in Hebron
    (Photo: AFP)
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    נזק לגרמו מתנחלים בחברון
    נזק לגרמו מתנחלים בחברון
    Damage from clashes in Hebron
    Badr a-Da'your, who runs a bazaar in the heart of the Old City of Hebron, said he "does not understand why they broke and ruined the goods," given everyone knows the bazaar helps the local economy.
    "This time you could see that the soldier and the settler were on the same side, and we were on the other side. They were both against us, and came with the purpose of scaring us," he claimed.
    The Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Sunday released a statement condemning the international community for what it claimed was ignoring the events in Hebron. The ministry also called the clashes "terror" and "barbaric attacks."
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    עימותים בחברון
    עימותים בחברון
    Clashes in Hebron
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Israeli politicians across the board also condemned the violent clashes, including Prime Minister Yair Lapid, IDF CHief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
    "I strongly condemn the attack against the security forces and Palestinian residents by extremists in Hebron," Gantz wrote on Twitter. "The forces on the ground acted resolutely to prevent injury to people and property, and will continue to do their jobs and maintain public order."
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