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Middle East
Hebron protest sparks clashes
Tensions increase as Israel declares site of Hebron mosque Israeli heritage location.
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2010 13:27 GMT
Protesters gathered to mark the anniversary of a mosque attack in which 29 people were killed [AFP]

Clashes have erupted in the West Bank city of Hebron where Palestinian protesters gathered to mark the sixteenth anniversary of a mosque attack in which 29 people were killed.

Israeli police fired tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinian protesters in the centre of the city on Thursday as school children began heading home for the day.

Al Jazeera's Nour Odeh, reporting from Hebron, said the protesters were commemorating the deaths of 29 people who were killed when Baruch Goldstein, a US-born Israeli settler opened fire on Muslims praying in a mosque in Hebron in 1994.

The protest also follows a decision by Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, to add the site of the mosque to its list of national heritage sites.

"Hebron is always a flashpoint where confrontations often erupt between the Palestinian residents and the Israeli soldiers guarding about 400 Israeli settlers who live right in the heart of Hebron's old city," our correspondent said.

"This is a very, very tense place, the most heavily populated district in the West Bank and the most divided.

"The old city is divided into two areas: one under full Israeli control and one under Palestinian control, and in the old city, Palestinians are restricted from using their cars and they are banned from a lot of streets.

"So there's a lot of tension on a daily basis."

Source:
Al Jazeera
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