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INSIDE STORY
Tensions rise over holy sites
Palestinians are angered by Israel's plan to restore two sites in the West Bank.
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2010 09:09 GMT



Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops in the West Bank town of Hebron on Monday amid outrage over Israel's plan to restore two flashpoint holy sites in the occupied territory.

Dozens of youths hurled rocks at an Israeli military checkpoint in the city as troops fired tear-gas and stun grenades. A strike closed down shops and schools.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has announced the plan to add two religious sites in the West Bank to what is called a national heritage list.

What Israelis call The Tomb of Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem will now be included - with about 100 other nominated sites - in a $107mn restoration plan.

Is this another Israeli attempt to grab more land? What are the rules over including a site on the Jewish heritage list? How are these steps likely to affect the final status solution? What does international law say about it and what can the Palestinian Authority do about it other than making statements of condemnation?

Inside Story discusses with Shmuel Berkovich, a lawyer and expert on holy sites, Abdullah al-Ashal, a former assistant to Egypt's foreign minister, and Ziyaad Lunat, an activist for Palestinian rights.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Tuesday, February 23.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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