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Israeli settlers restrain EU leader near Ibrahimi Mosque

Nov. 4, 2008 5:39 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 4, 2008 5:39 P.M.)
Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli settlers obstructed the deputy president of a European Union (EU) parliament delegation in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday.

An argument erupted between the settlers and the politician, Luisa Morgantini, and witnesses told Ma'an that Morgantini shouted: "You are thieves who steel buildings!" during the dispute.

"You assault Palestinians day and night to force them out of their homes," she told the settlers restraining her, witnesses said.

Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers sealed the area surrounding the Ibrahimi Mosque, preventing Morgantini from meeting with a group of Israeli activists rallying nearby. The activists were apparently staging a demonstration at the Abu Ar-Reish checkpoint near the mosque.

On Monday, Israeli forces prevented the leader of the European parliament's Green Party, Daniel Cohen Bendit from touring the Hebron Old City, under the pretext that it was under curfew. Bendit is a member of the EU's Foreign Relations Committee.

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