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Settlers hold marathon in Hebron city center

Feb. 11, 2011 11:18 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 12, 2011 10:32 A.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli far-right supporters are expected to join settlers in a marathon planned in the West Bank city of Hebron on Friday, a local Palestinian youth group said.

The route of the Jewish-only race runs through the heart of the occupied city, starting at an illegal settlement and passing through Al-Ja'bari and Jibr neighborhoods, past the Ibrahimi Mosque and down Shuhada Street.

Settlers from across the West Bank are expected to join residents of Hebron's illegal outposts and the Kiryat Arba settlement, Youth Against Settlements said.

YAS coordinator Issa Amer warned Palestinian residents living close to the track that the Israeli army may declare their neighborhoods a closed military zone.

He appealed to locals to take precautions against attacks by settlers, and appealed to the international community to pressure Israel to prevent "provocative acts" by settlers and the army.

In Hebron, settlers live in the heart of the occupied city, and frequently attack their Palestinian neighbors under the guard of the Israeli military.

According to the Israeli rights group B'Tselem, "Over the years, settlers in the city have routinely abused the city's Palestinian residents, sometimes using extreme violence."

Further, due to the increased presence of Israeli soldiers in the city center, "Violence, arbitrary house searches, seizure of houses, harassment, detaining passersby, and humiliating treatment have become part of daily reality for Palestinians," the organization says.

"Soldiers are generally positioned on every street corner in and near the settlement points, but in most cases they do nothing to protect Palestinians from the settlers' attacks."
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