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Hebron municipality calls on Israel to remove settler structures in schoolyard

Nov. 22, 2016 6:55 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 23, 2016 4:28 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Under the protection of Israeli military forces, Israeli settlers have recently set up tents and steel structures on the land used as a Palestinian schoolyard in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, according to a lawyer from the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Hebron municipality.

The Hebron municipality demanded in a statement on Monday that Israeli authorities immediately remove the illegal steel structures and tents which have been set up in the yard of the Ibrahim School in Hebron City, saying it was “a violation against the rights and properties of locals.”

According to the statement, the land is privately owned by Palestinians, but is rented by the municipality.

The municipality filed a complaint to Israeli officials against the settlers and the forces protecting them, demanding that authorities “ban the continuous attacks against the land and immediately remove the structures.”

The statement added that a suit would be filed to the Israeli Supreme Court in order to obtain an injunction to stop settlers from building on the land.

Hebron City’s mayor, Daoud al-Zaatari, said that he “rejected Israeli policies aiming to Judaize the city and assault local properties,” and confirmed that the municipality would legally follow up on the issue to stop it.

Al-Zaatari called upon international and human rights organizations to stop such violations.

A spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma'an on Wednesday that the tents were established "temporarily in the bus parking lot at the entrance of the Patriach's Cave," using the Jewish term for the Ibrahimi Mosque, adding that the tents were part of a Jewish event that would take place on Friday and Saturday. 

"We want to emphasize that the tents are not interrupting the school routine and the ground that the tents are being built on is useful only for the bus parking lot at the site," the spokesperson said, adding that the tents were expected to be dismantled on Sunday. 
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