Conflict & Justice

Rare meeting in divided Hebron

It all started with a synagogue built by Jewish settlers a few years ago which was built on land belonging to a leader of a powerful Arab clan. Five months ago this sheikh caught wind of a plan to destroy the synagogue. The sheikh says he denounced the plan because it would invite Israeli retaliation. The sheikh never expected to meet with Jewish settlers but then the Hebron settlers asked to meet with him to thank him. This representative of the settlers attended the meeting along with the mayor of the large settlement and he expected a tense meeting. The sheikh made the settlers a plaque and served them tea and fruit. The settler says it was like what life must've been like a hundred years ago when the two groups lived peacefully together. The settlement in Hebron is sometimes literally on top of the Arab section. About 30,000 Arabs used to live here and many have since left. The two sides clash regularly. The lockdown includes the closure of many roads, causing Palestinians to take long routes. These two Palestinian men say their politicians have done nothing to resolve the situation. This tribal leader was called a traitor for meeting with the Jews but he says he respects the Palestinian Authorities but they've done nothing. The settlers want Hebron to become part of the Jewish State with Arabs like the sheikh invited to be citizens. As for the sheikh, he'd like the settlers to pressure the Israeli Army to improve conditions in Hebron. The army commander attended the meeting but refused to comment.

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