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Right-wing Jews riot in Hebron

A soldier was injured and Palestinian graves vandalized as right-wing Jewish activists rioted in Hebron.

The Israeli soldier was injured early Thursday morning during clashes between the rioters and the army. The soldier was sprayed with turpentine as he attempted to stop the Jewish rioters from throwing rocks at Palestinian homes. The rioters also slashed the tires of military and police vehicles.

The rioters also reportedly sprayed epithets on a mosque located near the disputed Hebron “Peace House” and on Palestinian gravestones.

The violence has increased in recent days, since Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled that the four-story building located halfway between Kiryat Arba and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron should be vacated until its ownership is determined. More than 20 Jewish families live in the building. The Hebron Jewish community claims the building was purchased from its Palestinian owner through a middleman. The Palestinian denies selling the building.

About 650 Jewish settlers live in Israeli-army protected areas in Hebron amid 180,000 Palestinians.

Defense officials decided Wednesday to delay the forced removal of the residents until after this weekend’s massive gathering of Jews celebrating the weekly Torah portion of Chaye Sarah, in which Abraham purchases the Cave of the Patriarchs.

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