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Israel sets up services for settlers in volatile Hebron

FILE - In this May 18, 2009 file photo, Israeli soldiers walk in the West Bank City of Hebron. The Israeli military has created a new authority to provide municipal services for Israeli settlers in Hebron, drawing accusations that Israel is moving closer to annexing parts of the volatile West Bank city. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)
September 06, 2017 - 9:53 AM

HEBRON, Palestinian Territory - The Israeli military has created a new authority to provide municipal services for settlers in Hebron, drawing accusations that Israel is moving closer to annexing parts of the volatile West Bank city.

The military order, signed last week, alters a 20-year-old agreement in Hebron's Old City, where several hundred ultranationalist settlers live in heavily guarded enclaves surrounded by tens of thousands of Palestinians.

While Israel maintained security control over the area under the 1997 agreement, the Palestinians provided municipal services. The army says the new order establishes a new "municipal services administration" for the Jewish neighbourhood.

Kamel Hmeid, the city's Palestinian governor, says the order is meant to deepen Israeli control.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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