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Israeli forces remove Hebron memorial for slain Palestinian girl for second time

June 6, 2017 11:34 A.M. (Updated: June 6, 2017 3:50 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces removed a stone plaque in the southern occupied West Bank memorializing a teen Palestinian girl who was shot dead by Israeli forces in 2015, for the second time, Israeli news sites reported on Tuesday.

Israeli news outlet Arutz Sheva reported that the Israeli army removed a plaque between the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba and the city of Hebron on Monday evening.

The plaque, which states that the street was renamed after 17-year-old Bayan al-Esseili, had previously been removed in April as part of what the Israeli army called at the time “ongoing efforts against incitement.”

An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

At the time of Bayan's killing, the Israeli army justified fatally shooting the teenage girl -- on a day two other Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces in Hebron -- by saying that she allegedly attacked a border police officer, who sustained light injuries to her hand.

The removal of Bayan’s memorial was characteristic of an Israeli policy of dismantling monuments and mourning tents for Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, which Israel claims contributes to promoting future attacks against Israelis -- amid a wider crackdown on Palestinian freedom of expression.

Israeli authorities have claimed that a wave of violence that first erupted in October 2015 was caused largely by “incitement” among Palestinians through social media.

Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel's 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon as reasons for the outbreak of violence.

Locals in Hebron have also noted that at the entrance to the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, just a short distance away from were Bayan’s memorial stood, settlers continue to visit a gravestone and memorial for Baruch Goldstein, an American born Israeli settler who massacred 29 Palestinians inside Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994.
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