Israel suspends observer mission in West Bank city

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it is suspending operations of an international observer force in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron after over 20 years.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Monday it would not extend the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, saying "we will not allow the continuation of an international force that acts against us." It did not give a timeframe for the observers' exit.

TIPH has deployed unarmed civilian observers from Norway, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey in Hebron since 1997. They report on violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws.

Hundreds of hard-line Jewish settlers guarded by thousands of soldiers live in the heart of Hebron, which has a population of over 200,000 Palestinians.