Gov't. Allows Deployment Despite Dangers

Ad Feedback - HEBRON, Israel - Despite pleas from Jewish residents of Kiryat Arba and Gush Etzion in Judea (the West Bank), Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved the deployment of additional Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces in Hebron.

Next week, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai, head of Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria, will meet with Palestinian security officials to discuss the deployment of additional PA troops to supplement the 2,000 already in the city.

In a letter to Barak, community leaders called the plan an "irresponsible and dangerous move," urging the defense minister to bear in mind the price Israel has paid in the past.

"Similar steps in the past have always lead to terrible bloodshed," they wrote, reminding the defense minister of the murder of 10-month-old Shalhevet Pas -- shot dead in her mother's arms by a Palestinian sniper -- and 12 IDF soldiers in 2002 -- ambushed by terrorists in Hebron -- whose deaths were a direct result of transferring security control to PA forces.

"A wave of terror washed over all of Israel, and terrorists from Hebron reached Haifa," the letter stated. "All of this was a result of IDF forces withdrawing from this city and its transfer to the Palestinian Authority," the community leaders wrote.

"The transfer of security in Hebron to the terrorists of the PA will endanger the lives of thousands of residents in our area and the lives of all citizens of Israel. All participants in this step are wanton and irresponsible and will not be able to say 'our hands did not spill this blood,'" they wrote.

The letter's signatories included Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat, Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba/Hebron, and IDF reservists Col. Moshe Hagar and Col. Ron Shechner.

Sources: Haaretz, israel national news

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