Photo: Ma'an News Agency
Photo: Ma’an News Agency

Hebron, 24 Muharram 1437/6 November 2015 (MINA) –  The Palestinian Authority cabinet is set to hold its weekly meeting in Hebron on Tuesday to express solidarity with the city following an escalation of violence by Israeli forces and settlers, the governor of Hebron district told Ma’an.

Kamil Hmeid said that it would be the third time cabinet ministers had convened in Hebron. He said it came as Israel was “waging war on Palestinian citizens and institutions in Hebron, dividing the city and closing some of its entrances with concrete blocks,” Maan News Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

He said the cabinet meeting would affirm the PA’s support for Palestinian citizens, and encourage them to remain “firm.”

Hmeid added that cabinet ministers would be seeking to follow up the issue of “martyrs’ bodies” being held by Israel.

The mayor of Hebron, Dawood al-Zaatari, applauded the decision to hold the meeting inside the city.

Since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory last month, Hebron has found itself at the center of violence, with the highest death toll in the occupied West Bank.

At least 17 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces and settlers in Hebron in October alone, and many of Hebron’s residents have felt abandoned by the PA, finding it too weak to protect them from Israeli aggression.

Israel alleges that most of the Palestinians killed were attempting to carry out attacks on Israelis.

However, while Palestinians agree that several of those killed were attempting to carry out attacks, video footage and witness testimonies have raised serious questions over Israel’s allegations in many of the other cases.

Israel has so far released the bodies of seven Palestinians shot dead, including those of five children, but is continuing to withhold a number of other bodies.

More than 500 settlers live in Hebron’s Old City, surrounded by more than 200,000 Palestinians, under the protection of Israel’s army. (T/P010/R04)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)