Israeli troops evacuate two army positions in Hebron, one in Palestinian school

Israeli troops evacuated two army positions, including one in a Palestinian elementary school, in the West Bank city of Hebron, the army said Saturday.

About 2,000 Palestinian students had been forced to transfer schools in 2002 after troops took over the educational complex to establish an army post, said Mohammed Qawasme, the director of the Education Department in Hebron. Troops damaged the school buildings and it will take a year to reopen the facility, he added.

The army evacuated a second position in Hebron on Saturday, setting up a smaller observation post closer to the Jewish settlement in the city.

The withdrawals were part of a broader troop redeployment around the Jewish settlement in Hebron, the army said. The troop redeployment will allow Palestinians greater freedom of movement and ease restrictions for the general population, the army said, noting that the school is in a neighborhood that has a strong Hamas presence.


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