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Israel settlement expansion risks escalation in Hebron

Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s November 28 visit to the Tomb of the Patriarchs has highlighted a seemingly pro-settler approach to government policies in the already tense city.
Herzog mosque

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Israel has made it clear that it has no intention of halting settlement projects in the West Bank and is actively strengthening and expanding them.

Antoine Shalhat, director of the Israeli Scene unit at the Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies, told Al-Monitor, “The settlement activities in the West Bank reflect the current government’s support and intention of expanding settlements." Shalhat, whose unit covers Israeli developments that impact Palestinians, added that this inclination is further evidenced by the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked are both part of the religious Zionism faction, who believe that the Holy Land was promised to the Israelites by God, and thus modern Jews are entitled to settle it.

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