“The Israeli decision to terminate the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) constitutes an outright breach of the UN resolution (904) of (1994). This is primarily meant to cover the Israeli crimes committed by the illegal settlers in Hebron and other areas of the West Bank.” H.E. Manuel Hassassian.
On January 17, Israel’s Security Minister Gilad Erdan has called for international observers to be expelled from Hebron. He said: “It is no wonder that a force, composed of policemen from a hostile Islamic state such as Turkey and pro-Palestinian countries that sponsor boycott [of Israel] such as Sweden and Norway, interfere with IDF soldiers and police, create friction with the settlers, cooperate with radical organizations and promote the delegitimization of Israel.” This call has been approved by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said he would force the TIPH of Hebron accusing it of being “an international force that acts against us”.
TIPH was established following the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre committed by the Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein inside the Mosque in Hebron on February 25, 1994 killing 29 Palestinian men and boys and injuring nearly 130 others. On March 18, 1994, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 904 that called for ‘measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians throughout the occupied territory, including, inter alia, a temporary international or foreign presence.’ The first TIPH was established in May 1994, the international observers withdrew after three months as an agreement on an extension of the mandate could not be reached. The current TIPH was established on February 1st 1997, in accordance with an agreement of 21 January 1997 pursuant to a provision in the Interim Agreement (Oslo II Accord) signed by Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1995 (Annex I, Article VII, Paragraph 10), witnessed by the US, the EU, the Russian Federation, Egypt and Jordan. The TIPH mission was tasked with reporting on alleged Israeli abuses toward Palestinians in Hebron, by both the IDF and the city’s Jewish residents.
Israel continues to systematically violate with impunity, international norms and agreements; and its right-wing extremist government lends its tacit support and protection to armed settler militias, who constantly terrorize Palestinian civilians and carry out atrocious assaults; including fatal arson attacks, burning homes and business properties too.
- We strongly condemn the settlers’ overt attacks on Hebron and on the Palestinian people, and we take these threats to be dangerous and shoulder the international community with the responsibility of its consequences.
- We decisively reject the unilateral decision to terminate the TIPH mission to guarantee the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians.
- We call on the international community to be vociferous in its condemnation to such acts, and we demand it to act immediately to halt Israel’s unlawful policies and practices.
- We demand the United Nations to take these acts seriously and to fulfill its duty to ensure protection for the vulnerable Palestinians and to make Israel accountable for its heinous crimes.