JERUSALEM (Aug. 22)
A move by Jewish settlers to set up living quarters for yeshiva students in the heart of Hebron has enraged Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank town.
Some vented their anger Thursday by hurling a gasoline bomb at an Israeli vehicle in Hebron. The bomb missed its target, causing neither casualties or damage.
But it was a clear indication that the Arab population is seething over the planting of 10 mobile homes inside a former bus station in downtown Hebron, which has been converted into a military base.
The trailers will serve as dormitories for 120 students of the Shavei Hebron yeshiva. The yeshiva’s principal, Aharon Domb, sees no provocation.
He said the homes were placed on Jewish-owned land with the approval of the Israeli authorities and would serve as temporary quarters for the students until the new yeshiva building is completed.
But Mustafa Natshe, a former mayor of Hebron who was deposed by the Israeli authorities, said, “We were surprised by the decision of the Defense Ministry to approve deployment of the mobile homes.”
Natshe recalled that the Israel Defense Force seized the bus terminal for security reasons after a recent stabbing. But now, he said, “they have let civilians into it. This means that the residents of Hebron were cheated.”
The mobile homes, which cost $100,000, were funded jointly by several Jewish settlers groups.