Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Netanyahu Discusses Plan for Redeployment in Hebron

August 16, 1996
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has convened members of his Cabinet to discuss plans for a redeployment of Israeli troops in the West Bank town of Hebron.

Under the terms of the Interim Agreement, Israel was to redeploy from about 80 percent of Hebron.

But according to the plan presented Thursday evening by Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai, Israeli troops would remain in more districts of the often volatile town than was negotiated in the agreement.

“A greater presence serves Jewish and Arab interests,” Netanyahu told Israel Radio earlier in the day.

He said any outbreak of violence in Hebron, the only West Bank town with Jewish settlers and Arabs living side by side, would “scuttle the entire peace process.”

The plan calls for Israeli troops to continue patrolling Arab neighborhoods after the redeployment, depending on the security situation.

This was based on the principle of preserving the troops’ right to “hot pursuit” of Palestinians suspected of committing security offenses.

Leaks from the report indicated that the redeployment would be carried out more slowly than was agreed upon by the previous Labor government and the Palestinian Authority.

The plan was still subject to government approval before it would be presented to the Palestinian side.

The long-delayed redeployment from Hebron has been looked upon as a test of Netanyahu’s intentions to continue the peace process with the Palestinians.

Mordechai is scheduled to meet next week with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to discuss the redeployment.

According to the Interim Agreement, the redeployment was to take place in late March. But it was delayed after a series of Hamas terror attacks in Israel in late February and early March.

Recommended from JTA