In the ancient city of Hevron in Judea dozens of Jewish residents protested on Friday morning against the IDF Hevron District Commander's recent decision to open dozens of previously closed Arab stores.
The stores are located on the central road leading to the Cave of Machpelah, where the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs – other than Rachel – are buried. They had been closed to neutralize the security threat, after numerous terrorist attacks took place thanks to the increased mobility and access to the Jewish community offered to Arabs by the stores.
Friday morning's protest took place on the central route in front of the Cave of Machpelah, and took place even as thousands of Arab Muslims were inside the Cave conducting Friday prayers for the Muslim month of Ramadan.
Large police forces were present at the site of the protest, and demanded that the protesters evacuate the area given that their presence "endangers the public order," likely a reference to possible confrontations with the thousands of Arabs at prayer.
The residents refused the demand and continued to demonstrate for their security, warning that the decision endangers their lives.
Hevron resident and activist Baruch Marzel, who ran in the last elections with Otzma Yehudit, took part in leading the protest.
"The policy of (Defense) Minister (Moshe) Ya'alon perpetuates the conception" that concessions to Arab residents brings calm, warned Marzel.
"At the height of terror attacks and murders, Ya'alon makes it easier for the terrorists and allows them free movement," added the nationalist activist, noting on the recent spree of Ramadan terrorist attacks.
His reference to freedom of movement comes as Israel made unprecedented concessions for Ramadan in granting Arab residents of Judea and Samaria entry permits and direct buses to pray at the Temple Mount – where the Jordanian Waqf forbids Jews from praying. Several of those "gestures" were later rescinded amid the growing surge of terror attacks.