TIPH follow Israeli troop movements, Hevron
TIPH follow Israeli troop movements, Hevron Reuters

Turkey blasted Israel's decision not to renew the mandate of an international monitoring group in the city of Hevron.

"We strongly condemn Israel's unilateral termination of the mandate of the 'Temporary International Presence in Hebron' (TIPH) ... and expect this political decision to be reversed," the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement late on Friday, according to AFP.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced last week that he had decided not to extend the mandate of the TIPH observer force operating in Hevron, saying, "We will not allow the continued presence of an international force acting against us.”

Ankara dismissed the Netanyahu’s claim of the TIPH bias against Israel.

"We decisively reject the allegation that the TIPH has been working against Israel, which is presented by Israel as a justification for its decision."

In a series of Twitter posts on Saturday, Omer Celik, spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), slammed the Israeli move as a "new step to cover up illegalities" and said it must be condemned.

"This Israeli step shows new aggressions are in the planning," he said, urging the world "to be more careful" about the situation in Hevron.

Turkey has observers in the Norway-led team tasked with promoting security for Palestinian Arabs in Hevron.

Last week, Norway's foreign minister criticized Israel's decision not to extend the mandate of the TIPH, suggesting the move was in violation of the Oslo accords.

TIPH has a unique status, despite being a non-governmental organization funded by six countries: Sweden, Turkey, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark and Italy.

Unlike other NGOs, the organization's observers received updates and had regular meetings with representatives of the defense establishment, and they had free access to every place in Hevron, both on the Jewish side and on the Arab side.

The TIPH took advantage of the situation to support the Palestinian narrative. Recently, the existence of a book sold by the organization to Hevron terrorists was revealed. The book states, among other things, that the British Mandate for Palestine ended because of "a series of Zionist terror operations."

In 2011, one of the force monitors was caught violently assaulting a soldier who refused to allow him to pass through the checkpoint to the Jewish area of Hevron in the middle of the Sabbath. In this case, no significant step was taken.

In July, 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.