Security forces detained 12 Israelis on Saturday as they joined a commemoration in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron for 29 Palestinian worshipers killed by a Jewish terrorist in 1994.
Some 200 people, most of them Palestinians, took part in the anniversary demonstration which was dispersed after some protesters threw stones at troops, an army spokeswoman said.
Army Radio reported that the Israelis were detained for entering Palestinian-controlled territory without authorization.
The Tomb of the Patriarchs, also revered by Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, was the site of a massacre carried out by Baruch Goldstein in 1994, in which the extremist Jewish doctor mowed down 29 Muslim worshipers and wounded 125 others with automatic gunfire. Goldstein was overcome and bludgeoned to death by bystanders.
Saturday’s demonstration came with tensions running high in the Hebron region, which has been at the heart of a current wave of violence and terrorism.
Since October 1, Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks have taken the lives of at least 27 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean. At the same time, 175 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, the majority while carrying out attacks on Israelis.