Israeli settlers arrested in Hebron following riots

Israel Materials 2 December 2008 17:19 (UTC +04:00)

Jewish settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron clashed with Palestinians and Israeli security forces Tuesday, during riots over disputed property, Israeli police have said.

Police said that settlers and Palestinians threw stones at each other, and that two settlers had been arrested.

The dispute centres on an eviction order passed by the Israeli Supreme Court for a building in the city occupied by Jewish settlers since March 2007.

The riots reportedly began when a rumour spread that Israeli security forces were about to evict the settler families from the building, who maintain that they bought the four-storey building legally from the original Palestinian owners.

According to Israeli media reports by Monday evening some right- wing Israelis had travelled to Hebron to prevent the eviction.

Palestinian residents reported that the settlers had slashed car tyres and had insulted the prophet Mohammed. Several Palestinian vehicles had been set on fire.

Around 800 Israeli settlers live in Hebron, amongst 200,000 Palestinians, reported dpa.