Reports of car-ramming near Hebron as tension grows in flashpoint West Bank city

Hebron has witnessed fierce protests in recent years, such as this one from September 2015

Hebron has witnessed fierce protests in recent years, such as this one from September 2015

Monday, July 10, 2017

A car-ramming has been reported near Hebron as tension grows in the flashpoint West Bank city.

The Israel Defence Forces say the incident took place near Tekoa, northeast of Hebron, according to initial reports.

One Israeli has been injured and the suspected assailant has been arrested, according to Israeli news service i24.

The incident comes days after Unesco, the UN's world heritage body, recognised the old city of Hebron as an engandered Palestinian world heritage site - despite the protests of Israelis.

Hebron is one of the holiest sites in Islam, but Israelis claim it contains the burial place of Abraham and other Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs, and so is sacred for Israelis as well as Palestinians. 

Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu even quoted biblical verses in a speech against the Unesco decision on Sunday, in an apparent attempt to demonstrate Hebron's significance to Israel and the Jewish people.

A few hundred Israeli settlers live in Hebron, surrounded by around 200,000 Palestinians and protected by a ring of Israeli military personnel. The city has witnessed a number of fierce protests by Palestinians, outraged at the continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the growing settler population.