Netanyahu to eject international observers in Hebron

An employees of the Temporary International Presence in the West Bank city of Hebron peers from inside its damage office after youths stoned some of their facilities 08 February 2006. A team of European observers was to pull out of Hebron after its offices were attacked in riots against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, a spokeswoman said. AFP PHOTO/PEDRO UGARTE (Photo by PEDRO UGARTE / AFP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to eject an international observer post aimed at safeguarding Palestinians in Hebron, a city in the occupied West Bank, accusing the mission of anti-Israel activity. “We will not allow the continuation of an international force that acts against us,” Netanyahu said in a statement on Monday about the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).
 
Netanyahu did not elaborate on the alleged misconduct of TIPH, which draws staff from Norway, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey, nor did he say when he plans to expel them.
The agreement to deploy TIPH observers in Hebron was reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 1994 after an Israeli settler killed 29 Palestinian worshippers at the Ibrahimi Mosque, a site that is holy to both Muslims and Jews, who refer to it as the Cave of the Patriarchs.