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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

More Police Deployed In Hebron

HEBRON, West Bank -- Jewish settlers Thursday shouted "murderer'' at the Palestinian mayor of Hebron and Israeli police deployed reinforcements in the tense city amid warnings of violence ahead of an Israeli troop pullback.


Shots were fired on a street linking the Tomb of the Patriarchs in downtown Hebron with the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba just outside Hebron. No one was hurt.


Israel and the Palestinians said negotiations on an Israeli troop pullback in Hebron remained deadlocked, and no new talks were scheduled for Thursday.


Still, an Israeli troop pullback in Hebron appears inevitable, and tensions in the city of 94,000 Palestinians and 450 Jewish settlers have increased steadily in the past few days.


Once a date for a pullout is set, Jewish settlers plan to seize 20 buildings in Hebron they claim were once owned by Jews, Israel radio said Thursday. Such a move could quickly lead to confrontations with the Palestinians.


On Thursday, hundreds of Israeli police and soldiers patrolled the streets of downtown Hebron where the six settler enclaves are located. The heavy police presence was unprecedented.


When Hebron Mayor Mustafa Natche, a Palestinian, toured the city's downtown vegetable market Thursday, half a dozen settlers tried to block him. "You are a murderer'' and "This is Jewish land,'' the settlers shouted. Israeli police kept the settlers at bay and Natche continued his tour.