Arab League Calls for Redeployment of Observers to Al-Khalil to Protect Palestinians against Israeli Crimes
Story Code : 846995
Arab League Assistant Secretary General for Palestine and Occupied Arab Territories, Saeed Abu Ali, made the remarks on Tuesday, marking the 26th anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre.
On February 25, 1994, an Israeli settler randomly opened fire at Muslims observing the dawn prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the holy fasting month of Ramadan, killing 29 worshipers and injuring 150 others.
Later in the day, Israeli forces killed an additional 21 Palestinians who took to the streets across the occupied lands to protest the al-Khalil bloodshed.
The Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), tasked with safeguarding Palestinians in al-Khalil, was set up in the wake of the fatal attack. The mission was staffed by nationals of Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
The mission did not start its work until 1998, after the Israeli military refused to leave al-Khalil following the establishment of an illegal Israeli settlement at the heart of the city.
TIPH’s mandate, which came up for renewal every six months, ended on January 31, 2019 after Israel decided to expel the force.
According to Palestinian media, Abu Ali underlined the need for TIPH's redeployment to al-Khalil and other Palestinian cities, adding that a mechanism should also be set up to implement the Articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention in a bid to prevent terrorist acts against Palestinians similar to what happened at the Ibrahimi Mosque.
The massacre anniversary, he added, comes at a time of increased US-encouraged Israeli violations of Palestinian rights.
Abu Ali also lashed out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for ending TIPH's activity in al-Khalil.
He further condemned settlement construction activities in al-Khalil, the expulsion of its residents and raids on the Ibrahimi Mosque, warning that such Israeli measures, which are meant to judaize the southern West Bank city, would bring about dangerous consequences to the region.