After several violent incidents perpetrated by international observers against the Jewish community in Hebron, residents are calling on the prime minister to drive them out.
By: JNS and United with Israel Staff
A member of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) observer mission was recorded slashing the tires on the car of a Jewish resident of Hebron, prompting the leaders of the city’s Jewish community to urge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to throw them out of the country.
The observer fled Israel last week after he was identified in an investigation into the vandalism.
Police identified the culprit as a TIPH member and approached the group’s leader regarding the incident. Instead of making the member available for questioning, the TIPH head delayed his response, saying instead that the organization would conduct an “internal probe.”
When police followed up a few days later, they were told the observer had already left the country.
The event took place nearly a year ago, but footage recorded on security camera was released to the press only on Tuesday. Yet a second video from just several weeks ago captured a more violent incident, in which another TIPH member, on a tour of Hebron led by the controversial Breaking the Silence organization, slapped a local 10-year-old Jewish boy.
The Swiss ambassador issued a lukewarm apology while essentially blaming the Jews for the incident.
As a result, Israel’s Foreign Ministry told the TIPH observer, a Swiss national, to leave the country.
Netanyahu did, in fact, demand on Tuesday that the head of TIPH report to the Foreign Ministry for clarification, but Hebron leaders say a meeting is not enough.
A statement by the group calls on the prime minister, who also serves as Israel’s foreign minister, “to inform TIPH that their mandate has ended and they should be expelled from the country.”
The statement adds that “Hebron has no place for a provocative hostile group whose actions disturb the peace and harm the well-being of the residents of Hebron. The ‘temporary’ mandate of this force must end.”
TIPH’s website mission says its purpose since it was created in 1997—with observers from five contributing countries—is to support Israel and the Palestinian Authority “in their efforts to improve the situation in Hebron and to create a sense of security for the Palestinians in Hebron.”
However, it often serves as a body that operates against the IDF and the Jews of Hebron, including alleged human rights abuses and violations of the Oslo Accords and UN resolutions.
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