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Leaders in Hebron asked Israel’s defense minister not to transfer security control of their area to the Palestinian Authority.

In a letter to Ehud Barak Tuesday, leaders warned that “Similar steps in the past have always lead to terrible bloodshed,” according to Haaretz.

The decision to deploy a company of PA soldiers in Hebron, in addition to the 2,000 Palestinian Authority soldiers and policemen already deployed there, was made last month by the army in order to prop up PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

“The transfer of security in Hebron to the terrorists of the PA will endanger the lives of thousands or residents in our area, and the lives of all citizens of Israel,” the letter said. “All participants in this step are wanton and irresponsible and will not be able to say ‘our hands did not spill this blood.'”

Some 650 Jews and 180,000 Palestinians live in Hebron, which is holy to Muslims, Christians and Jews.

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