Shimon Peres spoke against the continued presence of Israelis in Hebron. The Israeli vice premier said Tuesday that he would prefer to see settlers living in Kiryat Arba rather than in Hebron, which today is overwhelmingly Palestinian. “I want to remind you that we built Kiryat Arba because the idea at the time was that instead of having a Jewish community within an Arab community, it would be better to have a Jewish community alongside an Arab community,” Peres told Israel’s Army Radio. He was speaking a day after settlers took over a Hebron building they said had been bought legally, a claim disputed by Palestinians. Peres called for the case to be dealt with lawfully, but also criticized as “abnormal and outrageous” the instances where Hebron settlers have abused their Palestinian neighbors. Asked if he would like to see the Hebron settlers removed, Peres said, “I don’t want to stir up this subject now. The time will come and we will find the proper solution. The current situation is unbearable and it is absolutely clear to me that we must find a solution, and a quick one, and at this stage to uphold the law.” There had been an uninterrupted Jewish presence in Hebron for centuries until the community was evacuated after a bloody Arab pogrom in 1929. The modern community was established after the city again came into Israeli hands following the 1967 Six-Day War. The first plot of land that Abraham bought in the Promised Land, according to the Torah, Hebron is considered the holiest city for the Jewish people after Jerusalem.