U.S. Says Expulsion of International Hebron Monitoring Force Is Israel's 'Internal Decision'

State department spokesman says decision not to renew TIPH's mandate doesn't violate Israel's agreements with the PA, one day after the United States blocked a UN resolution denouncing it

Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Observers from TIPH stand next to Palestinians carrying placards denouncing the Israeli prime minister's recent decision not to renew their mandate, Habron, West Bank, January 30, 2019.
Observers from TIPH stand next to Palestinians carrying placards denouncing the Israeli prime minister's recent decision not to renew their mandate, Habron, West Bank, January 30, 2019. Credit: AFP
Amir Tibon
Amir Tibon

WASHINGTON - The U.S. State Department said on Thursday that Israel’s decision to throw out a an international monitoring group from the city of Hebron in the West Bank, was not in violation of Israel’s agreements with the Palestinian Authority, and should be treated as an internal decision.

“Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the Israeli decision not to renew, it would be inaccurate to accuse Israel of not having the right to make this decision,” said Robert Palladino, a spokesman for the Department. He added that “this is a sovereign decision and it’s the right of either party (Israel or the PA) to make that agreement.”

Palladino added that he “has nothing further” on the subject. Earlier on Thursday, the U.S. blocked an attempt to denounce the decision at the UN Security Council.

>> Palestinians in Hebron could now face another massacre | Opinion

Netanyahu announced last month that Israel would not be renewing the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), which ended on January 31.

"We will not allow the presence of an international force that operates against us," Netanyahu said at the time.

In a joint statemnt on Friday, foreign ministers of the member nations of the monitoring force (Norway, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, and Turkey) said Netanyahu's decision represents "departure from Oslo accords." They denied that observers were acting with an anti-Israeli bias, and emphasized Israel's legal obligations to protect residents of Hebron and the rest of the West Bank.

TIPH was established in 1994 following the Goldstein massacare at the Ibrahimi Mosque, when a Jewish man entered the Tomb of the Patriarchs and murdered 29 Muslims at prayer. Its present form was the result of the Oslo Accords Hebron Protocol, which allowed the partial redeployment of Israeli military forces to the part of the city that remained under its control.

The force was later expanded as part of the Wye River Memorandum, signed in 1998 by Netanyahu, then serving his first term as premier, and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can