Palestinians mark Hebron mosque massacre anniversary

Israeli border police detain a protester during a demonstration at Kiryat Arba settlement near the West Bank City of Hebron, on Feb 26, 2016.
Israeli border police detain a protester during a demonstration at Kiryat Arba settlement near the West Bank City of Hebron, on Feb 26, 2016.PHOTO: EPA
Palestinian protesters hold placards during a demonstration at Kiryat Arba settlement near the West Bank City of Hebron, on Feb 26, 2016.
Palestinian protesters hold placards during a demonstration at Kiryat Arba settlement near the West Bank City of Hebron, on Feb 26, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

HEBRON, Palestinian Territories (AFP) - Palestinians marched through Hebron in the occupied West Bank on Friday (Feb 26) to mark the anniversary of the 1994 massacre of 29 Muslim worshippers by a Jewish settler, before being dispersed by Israeli soldiers.

Dozens gathered peacefully, demanding the reopening of a key thoroughfare - named "Marytrs' Street" in Arabic - which has been closed to Palestinians since the attack, an AFP reporter said.

They were dispersed by stun grenades fired by soldiers close to the settlement of Kyriat Arba, home to Baruch Goldstein, the perpetrator of the massacre at a disputed place of worship known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque.

A demonstrator and a Palestinian journalist were detained by the army, according to reporters on the scene.

Jewish extremist Goldstein, a doctor, gunned down 29 Muslims at the site known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, on Feb 25, 1994, before being himself beaten to death.

Six years later, at the outset of the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, the army declared the nearby street a "closed military zone," restricting Palestinian access to residents of the immediate area, on foot only.

Hebron has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A few hundred Jewish settlers live under heavy army guard among around 200,000 Palestinians in the heart of the West Bank's most populous city.