United Nations team in Jerusalem
United Nations team in Jerusalem Flash90

The Palestinian Authority has requested that the United Nations deploy an international force in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem to protect the local Arab population on a permanent basis.

The request was filed after Israel declined to renew the mandate of an international monitor force in Hevron (TIPH)

Senior Palestinian Authority official and chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said the UN must deploy a permanent international force to not only Judea and Samaria, but also eastern Jerusalem as well to “guarantee the safety and protection of the people of Palestine” until “the end of Israel’s belligerent occupation,” AP reported

The United Nations has yet to formally respond to the PA request.

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided not to renew the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH).

Formed after Kiryat Arba resident Baruch Goldstein opened fire on a crowd of Arabs inside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in February 1994, killing 29, TIPH deploys monitors from Norway, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey to Hevron to monitor the status of the local Arab community.

Despite originally being conceived as a temporary monitor force, TIPH’s mandate has been extended regularly for over two decades.

Local Israeli residents, however, have complained of harassment by the international monitors.

“We want a sense of normal life. When you have these foreigners walking around in uniform it's a kind of feeling like they're watching you like you're an animal in a zoo," Yishai Fleisher, a representative of the Hevron Jewish community told AP. "TIPH and these kinds of elements actually serve to be the opposite of peacemakers. They become provocateurs."

In July in a TIPH member who took part in a tour of the Breaking the Silence organization in Tel Rumeida in Hevron slapped a 10-year-old Jewish boy. The member was arrested and forced to leave Israel by the Foreign Ministry.

A few weeks later, Netanyahu ordered the TIPH commander to be summoned for clarification by the Foreign Ministry following publication of footage on Arutz Sheva in which foreign observers are seen puncturing the tires of a car belonging to Jewish Hevron resident of Elad Fass.