A Torah Arrives in Jericho As Palestinians Stand Guard

In a new twist on Israeli-Palestinian relations, several dozen Jewish settlers were protected by Palestinian police as they brought a new Torah scroll to the ancient synagogue in Jericho this week.

Israeli settlers had engaged in a tense standoff with the Palestinian police last summer after the area around Jericho, along with the Gaza Strip, fell under Palestinian autonomy.

At the time, settlers charged the police with desecrating the site.

As yeshiva students sand and danced around the Torah on Wednesday, Palestinian police remained on duty outside the synagogue.

The police said the synagogue was a religious place, adding that they were under instructions to respect it.

This was the first Torah to be brought to a synagogue located in the Palestinian self-rule area, but members of the yeshiva said it would not be the last.

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