Netanyahu Won’t Renew Hebron Observer Mandate
Saying he won’t allow an international force that “acts against us,” Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he will not permit the renewal of the mandate for the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) when it expires. The force was created in 1994 to protect Palestinians after a Jewish resident opened fire in a mosque killing 29 people. It’s manned by soldiers from Sweden, Norway, Turkey, Italy and Switzerland. A small Jewish community that also lives in Hebron in a heavily protected enclave clashes periodically with their Palestinian neighbors. Its residents accuse TIPH of helping the Palestinians foment tension between the two groups, which is the basis for Netanyahu’s decision to eject the force. For the Palestinians, the issue is their charge that the Israeli prime minister is unilaterally abrogating an international agreement which, they argue, will open the door to quashing other pacts as well.
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