• Short Summary

    Israeli troops withdrew from the West Bank city of Hebron under tight security on Sunday (21 March).

  • Description

    Israeli troops withdrew from the West Bank city of Hebron under tight security on Sunday (21 March).

    Defence Minister Shimon Peres removed reinforcements from the city after its mayor, Sheik Mohammed Ali Jaabari promised to help restore order. The mayor had earlier become the ninth Arab mayor to resign after clashes throughout the territory between students and Israeli troops. He withdrew his resignation.

    In riots in the city the previous week, shops were set alight and youths stoned Israeli troops from rooftops.

    The riots were the result of rising tension over a Jewish settlement outside Hebron. The village of Kiryat Arab was set in 1970, despite Arab protests, near the Cave of Machpelah, a religious site sacred to both Jews and Moslems.

    The troops were removed during a 90-minute curfew imposed during the morning to preserve order.

    General curfews still remain in force in towns north of Hebron.

    In Jerusalem, Israeli troops maintained tight security after guerrilla organisations and Moslems had been forced to call off what would have been a provocative demonstration two days before.

    The demonstration was to have been the climax to a wave of disturbances in protest against any move to allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, an important Islamic shrine, but once the site of King Solomon's temple. The violence began seven weeks ago after a magistrate in Jerusalem acquitted eight young Jews arrested for trying to hold a prayer service on Temple Mount.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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