HEBRON, West Bank — Ultranationalist Israelis flocked to a disputed holy site in the divided West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday, laying their claim while also denouncing the policies of President Obama toward Israel.

Some 10,000 Israelis, heavily guarded by the Israeli military, put on a carnival-like gathering at the Cave of the Patriachs, with cotton candy and pony rides.

The demonstration coincided with the Jewish holiday of Passover. Palestinians were kept away from the site.

In the only reported incident of violence, Palestinians threw rocks at an Israeli bus which mistakenly drove through a Palestinian neighborhood in the city, slightly injuring a woman passenger, the military said.

Hebron is one of the most volatile places in the West Bank. About 165,000 Palestinians live in the city, but Israeli soldiers control parts of the center, where about 400 Israeli settlers live in buildings that belonged to Jews before they were driven out of Hebron more than 70 years ago.

The Cave of the Patriarchs is revered by both Jews and Muslims as the burial place of the biblical Abraham, the father of both religions.

The Israelis gathered at the imposing tomb to celebrate a decision by Israel’s government to include it on Israel’s list of national heritage sites.

The listing set off a wave of Palestinian protests, some of them violent. There was also international criticism, including from the U.S. government.

Addressing the gathering, hardline members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party directed their most pointed remarks at the Obama administration, which has demanded a halt to Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, claimed by Palestinians for a state.

Deputy Cabinet Minister Ayoub Kara told the crowd that “nothing will move us from Hebron, not even Barack Hussein Obama. There needs to be a renewal of building and settlement in all parts of the country.”

Member of parliament Tzipi Hotovely said that Israel should “not allow anyone to dictate how much we can build and where.”


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