J Street is deeply concerned by reports that Israeli settlers have occupied a contested house in the heart of the city of Hebron. In the midst of the ongoing crisis around the Temple Mount, the last thing the region needs is a deliberately provocative action by the settlement movement in a religiously sensitive area that could further inflame national and religious tensions.
We call on the US government and others in the international community to make absolutely clear to Israeli leaders that this type of provocation undermines the chances for peace and security in the region and needs to be reversed.
Over the last ten years, J Street delegations to the region have visited Hebron repeatedly and seen for themselves the complexities and sensitivities in this city that holds such deep importance to Jews and Muslims alike. Like the Temple Mount, the city has been and continues to be a flashpoint for confrontation and violence.
The Hebron settlers and their allies clearly believe that they can take advantage of the present crisis and push their long-term expansionist agenda by creating new “facts on the ground.” It is vital that the prime minister and defense minister act in the best interests of Israeli security and uphold the rule of law by swiftly removing these families from the property.