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Deputy FM calls for booting observer group from Hebron

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely calls for ejecting a civilian observer group from Hebron, charging it “damages” Israeli security forces operating in the divided West Bank city.

Israel in July renewed the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron but censured it after one of its members was filmed slashing the tires of a settler’s car and another slapped a Jewish boy.

“The state renews TIPH’s mandate to maintain order every six months. They are not fulfilling their mandate by representing only the Palestinian side while harming Jewish citizens. The only purpose TIPH serves is to present a distorted picture of Israel,” Hotovely says after meeting with leaders of Hebron’s settler community.

Hotovely says she told Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is also foreign minister, not to renew TIPH’s mandate in Hebron. “It is time for the role of this temporary entity to end,” she says.

TIPH is tasked with “monitoring and reporting efforts to maintain normal life in the city of Hebron, thus creating a sense of security among the Palestinians in Hebron.” It also reports alleged human rights abuses and violations of accords in the city between Israel and Palestinians.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely during a tour of Hebron today: "TIPH has become a hostile presence that damages Israeli security forces. The time has come to make the decision not to renew their mandate."*Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely met with the heads of the Jewish community in Hebron, and listened to complaints, explaining that TIPH acts unilaterally against the Jewish population and in favor of the Palestinian population."They treat us like foreigners, they photograph every move we make, including our children, despite the fact that it is forbidden. Recently there was an incident where one of the children of the Jewish community was attacked.”They added that there is tension between the TIPH observers and the Israeli security forces on a regular basis.Deputy Minister Hotovely said, "The state renews TIPH’s mandate to maintain order every six months. They are not fulfilling their mandate by representing only the Palestinian side while harming Jewish citizens. The only purpose TIPH serves is to present a distorted picture of Israel."Therefore, I turned to the Prime Minister and recommended not renewing their mandate in Hebron. It is time for the role of this temporary entity to end."

Posted by ‎Yishai Fleisher ישי פליישר‎ on Thursday, November 1, 2018

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