Israeli President Celebrate Hanukkah at Site on West Bank

Hebron (AP) on the West Bank — The Israeli President visits one of the most controversial places on the occupied West Bank on Sunday to celebrate Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday, and Israeli security forces. And caused a dispute between the protesters.

President Isaac Herzog said he was visiting the cave of the Patriarch of Hebron to celebrate the Jewish past in the ancient city and promote pagan relations. However, his visit to the city, known for its small ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers community and the difficult living conditions of the Palestinians, has received widespread criticism from the Palestinians and left-wing Israelis.

About 1,000 Jewish settlers live in small excursions protected by Israeli soldiers in the city, to about 200,000 Palestinians who have to go through Israeli checkpoints to move. Surrounded by.

There has been frequent violence between the two camps, and the Patriarchate’s cave, worshiped by Muslims and Jews, is the scene of a massacre by Jewish settlers who killed 29 Muslim worshipers in 1994. was.

Herzog did not mention the 1994 massacre, but said his relatives survived the fight in honor of more than 60 Jews killed in Hebron by Palestinians in the 1929 riots.

“There is no doubt she was very impressed by the fact that one of her grandchildren was lighting Hanukkah’s candles in the Patriarch’s cave as President of the State of Israel,” he said on an eight-day holiday.

The perception of Jewish attachment to the city “must be beyond all controversy,” he added.

The cave is believed to be the burial ground of Abraham, the Jewish and Muslim patriarch. It is also respected as a burial place for other Jewish patriarchs and patriarchs, and is considered the second holy place in Judaism.

In his speech, he briefly called for “peace between all religions” and “condemning all forms of hatred and violence.”

But critics have accused Herzog of embracing the most radical elements of Israeli society. Herzog is a former leader of the Israeli Labor Party and supports a two-state solution with Palestinians. And his current position is non-political and intended to serve as a national moral compass.

Palestinian top executive Hussein Al Sheikh called the visit a “political, moral and religious provocation.”

Dozens of Israeli protesters gathered about 1 km (0.5 miles) from the cave and shouted “shame” as Israeli police stopped some of them. Journalists and protesters were unable to enter near the sanctuary.

“There is nothing shameful about Herzog,” said Israeli activist Newlit Budinsky. “He came to celebrate with these Jews who hijacked the city and celebrated the holiday of freedom with them. Here in Hebron there are people who live in unbearable professions.”

“Breaking the Silence,” a group of former Israeli fighters who oppose the occupation of the west coast of Israel, accused Herzog of “giving official approval to this obscene reality and those who perpetuate it.”

Jewish residents of Hebron are one of the toughest routes among the approximately 700,000 Israeli settlers living on the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Israel occupied the West Bank along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 Middle East War. Palestinians insist on all three areas for a future independent state. The international community overwhelmingly considers reconciliation illegal. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

“It shows how good it is for people in these positions to come here to strengthen the village,” said Abiyagrass, who lives in the neighboring village of Kiriyat Alba. Told.