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Rightist lawmakers visit Hebron to protest

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Right-wing Israeli lawmakers visited Hebron to protest the easing of restrictions on Palestinians.

The lawmakers from the National Union Party were permitted to visit the Cave of the Patriarchs during Monday afternoon’s tour but were prevented by security forces from walking in Palestinians areas of the West Bank city.

The delegation originally had been given permission to visit Palestinian areas, but it was withdrawn Sunday night by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

About 200 Palestinians protested the visit.

The visit was organized after army officials opened the Zion Route, a road leading from the Jewish city of Kiryat Arba to the Cave of the Patriarchs. The road had been closed to Palestinians for several years following a number of terror attacks against Jews, but was opened recently as part of the security apparatus’ attempt to ease restrictions of movement on Palestinians throughout the West Bank.

Some 600 Jews live in their own Hebron neighborhood surrounded by about 160,000 Palestinians.
 

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