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Kiryat Arba: Confrontation with Diplomats and Activists

by Ali Waked and Efrat Weiss
This is a translation from Hebrew of an article appearing in YNet

A group of settlers verbally attacked diplomats of the EU and Israeli activists of the organization “Breaking the Silence” this morning (Wednesday) in Kiryat Arba, during one of the tours the organization holds weekly in the Westbank and the Hebron area for Israeli and international groups.

A convoy of 8 vehicles arrived at Kiryat Arba that morning, accompanied by two members of “Breaking the Silence”. The settlement’s security officer noticed the guests and alerted more security personnel who delayed the convoy close to the town council building. Dozens of settlers headed towards the group and began yelling and cursing.

Avihai Sharon, one of the two Israeli activists, told /ynet/ that all hell broke loose and the diplomats were very stressed, and claimed that the visitors had not posed any kind of provocation: “We’re not wearing anything special, not bearing banners or signs, not calling out any slogans, and the diplomats don’t even dare getting out of their vehicle.”

Policemen arrived and the parties negotiated with their help, as the settlers demanded the Israeli activists and diplomats be sent away. Eventually the police decided to let the tour proceed, although a confrontation was noted between the police and the diplomats who claimed they were being jeopardized. They also stated their intention to file a complaint to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The police and army reported that no acts of physical violence had taken