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Israeli forces hold Palestinian civilians at gunpoint during Hebron raid Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israeli forces hold Palestinian civilians at gunpoint during Hebron raid

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 December, 2018

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Israeli soldiers forced Palestinians outside of their homes at gunpoint, local media reported.

Israeli forces attacked homes and tents belonging to Palestinians in the southern towns of occupied Hebron in the West Bank, forcing them outside of their homes at gunpoint.

According to local media, Israeli forces raided and blocked the towns of al-Masdara, Ar-Rakeez, and al-Tawani in South Hebron Hills near the illegal Israeli settlements of Avigal and Maon.

The Israeli forces threatened the residents out of their homes at gunpoint on Tuesday, forcing them to remain outside in cold winter conditions while the army carried out “security checks”.

Around 800 notoriously hardline Israeli settlers live in Hebron's Old City, under the protection of the Israeli military, surrounded by more than 30,000 Palestinians.

Settlers from Hebron are known to be especially aggressive, yet act with almost total impunity while under the protection of Israeli forces, who are also complicit in violence against Palestinians.

51 years of illegal occupation

Israel seized control of the West Bank and east Jerusalem in a 1967 war. Around 600,000 Israelis now live in settlements there considered illegal by the international community.

The expansion of settlements are widely condemned and considered a barrier for peace and security.

"Israel's settlement expansion is an illegal project that is dangerous on all fronts," says Diana Alghoul The New Arab's resident Palestine expert.

"By illegally building outposts on internationally-recognised Palestinian land, Israel is sending out a message to Palestinians that their plight to statehood is irrelevant - causing a blow for all supporters of the two-state solution," she added.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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