Israel planning new Jewish settlement in Hebron
Jerusalem: Israel's new hard-right defence minister on Sunday ordered officials to start planning a new Jewish settlement in the heart of the divided West Bank city of Hebron.
The announcement came as the prospects of a third snap election since April loomed larger, with Defence Minister Naftali Bennett's New Right party leaning heavily on settlers for support at the polls. The Defence Ministry said Bennett had instructed ministry departments responsible for the Israeli occupied West Bank "to notify the Hebron municipality of planning a new Jewish neighbourhood in the wholesale market complex".
The market area is on Hebron's Shuhada Street, once a bustling thoroughfare leading to a holy site where the biblical Abraham is believed to have been buried.
The street is now largely closed off to Palestinians who have repeatedly demanded that it be reopened to traffic.
The city is holy to both Muslims and Jews and is a flashpoint for clashes between the two sides.