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Hebron
Hebron172
Downtown Hebron
120px
Municipal Seal of Hebron
Arabic الخليل
Hebrew חֶבְרוֹן
Governorate Hebron
Government City (from 1997)
Also spelled Al-Khalīl (officially)

Al-Ḫalīl (unofficially)

Coordinates 31°32′00″N 35°05′42″E / 31.5333333°N 35.095°E / 31.5333333; 35.095Coordinates: 31°32′00″N 35°05′42″E / 31.5333333°N 35.095°E / 31.5333333; 35.095
Population 163,000[1] (2007)
Head of Municipality Khaled Osaily
Website www.hebron-city.ps

Hebron (Arabic: Loudspeaker الخليل al-Ḫalīl or al Khalīl; Hebrew: Loudspeaker חֶבְרוֹן , Standard Hebrew: Ḥevron, Tiberian Hebrew: Ḥeḇrôn), is the largest city in the West Bank, located in the south, 30 kilometers south of Jerusalem. It is home to some 163,000 Palestinians,[1] and over 500 Israeli Jews living in and around the historic Jewish Quarter.[2][3][4][5][6] Hebron lies 930 meters (3,050 ft) above sea level. Located in the Palestinian territories and the Biblical region of Judea. Since it is the burial site of Abraham and his wife Sarah, Isaac and his wife Rebecca, and Jacob and his wife Leah, the ancestors of the Jewish people, it is the second holiest place in Judaism, next to Jerusalem.[7]

It is locally well-known for its grapes, figs, limestone, pottery workshops and glassblowing factories. It is also the location of the major dairy product manufacturer, al-Junaidi. The old city of Hebron is characterized by narrow, winding streets, flat-roofed stone houses, and old bazaars. Hebron is home to Hebron University and the Palestine Polytechnic University.[8][9][10][11][12]

The most famous historic site in Hebron sits on the Cave of the Patriarchs. The site is holy to Judaism and Christianity, while Islam also accepts it as a sacred site, due to scriptural references to Abraham. According to Genesis, Abraham purchased the cave and the field surrounding it from Ephron the Hittite to bury his wife Sarah; subsequently Abraham, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah were also buried in the cave. For this reason, Hebron is also referred to in Judaism as 'the City of the Patriarchs', and regarded as one of its Four Holy Cities. (The remaining Matriarch, Rachel, is buried outside Bethlehem). Over and around the cave itself churches, synagogues and mosques have been built throughout history (see "History" below). The Isaac Hall is now the Ibrahimi Mosque, while the Abraham Hall and Jacob Hall serve as a Jewish synagogue. In medieval Christian tradition, Hebron was one of the three cities, the other two being Juttah and Ain Karim, that boasted of being the home of Mary's cousin, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and wife of Zacharias, and thus possibly the birthplace of the Baptist himself.[13][14][15]

EtymologyEdit

The name "Hebron" traces back to two West Semitic roots, which coalesce in the form ḥbr, having reflexes in Hebrew, Amorite and Arabic, and denoting a range of meanings from 'colleague', 'unite', 'friend' or 'to be noisy'. In the proper name Hebron, the sense may be alliance.[16] In Arabic, Ibrahim al-Khalil (إبراهيم الخليل) means "Abraham the friend", signifying that, according to Islamic teaching, God chose Abraham as his friend.[17]

History Edit

Antiquity and Israelite periodEdit

Hebron was originally a Canaanite royal city[citation needed] before it became one of the principle centers of the Tribe of Judah and one of the six traditional cities of refuge.[18] The earliest references to Hebron are found in the Hebrew Bible, where the city is shown to change from being under Hittite control during the time of Abraham (Gen. 23) to falling under Canaanite ownership five hundred years later, during the time of the Israelite conquest of Canaan (Joshua 10:5,6). Archaeological excavations reveal traces of strong fortifications dated to the Early Bronze Age. The city was destroyed in a conflagration, and resettled in the late Middle Bronze Age.[19] It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as being the site of Abraham's purchase of the Cave of the Patriarchs from the Hittites.[20] In settling here, Abraham made his first covenant, an alliance with two local Amorite clans who became his ba’alei brit or masters of the covenant.[21] The Abrahamic traditions associated with Hebron are nomadic, and may also reflect a Kenite element, since the nomadic Kenites are said to have long occupied the city,[22] and Heber is the name for a Kenite clan.[23] Hebron is also mentioned there as being formerly called Kirjath-arba, or "city of four", possibly referring to a federation of four hamlets, or four hills,[24] before being conquered by Caleb and the Israelites[25] Later, the town itself, with some contiguous pasture land, was granted to the Levites of the clan of Kohath, while the fields of the city, as well as its surrounding villages were assigned to Caleb.[26][27] King David reigned from Hebron for over seven years. Initially as a vassal of the Philistines and anointed by the men of Judah, while he gradually extended his authority over a wider area, until he was able to incorporate the remnants of Saul’s kingdom with the capture of Jerusalem, where he was subsequently anointed king of the Kingdom of Israel.[28] Hebron continued to constitute an important local economic centre, given its strategic position along trading routes, but, as is shown by the discovery of seals with the inscription lmlk Hebron (to the king. Hebron), it remained administratively and politically dependent on Jerusalem.[29]

Second Temple periodEdit

After the destruction of the First Temple, most of the Jewish inhabitants of Hebron were exiled, and according to the conventional view,[30] their place was taken by Edomites in about 587 BCE. Some Jews appear to have lived there after the return from the Babylonian exile, however.[31] This Idumean town was in turn destroyed by Judah Maccabee in 167 BCE.[32] Herod the Great built the wall which still surrounds the Cave of the Patriarchs. During the first war against the Romans, Hebron was conquered by Simon Bar Giora, a Sicarii leader, and burnt down by Vespasian's officer Cerealis.[33] After the defeat of Simon bar Kokhba in 135 CE, innumerable Jewish captives were sold into slavery at Hebron's Terebinth slave-market.[34][35] Eventually it became part of the Byzantine Empire. Byzantine emperor Justinian I erected a Christian church over the Cave of Machpelah in the 6th century CE which was later destroyed by the Sassanid general Shahrbaraz in 614 when Khosrau II's armies besieged and took Jerusalem.[36]

Islamic eraEdit

Hebron was one of the last cities of Palestine to fall to the Arab invasion in the 7th century.[37] The Rashidun Caliphate established rule over Hebron without resistance in 638, and converted the Byzantine church at the site of Abraham's tomb into a mosque. Trade greatly expanded, in particular with Bedouins in the Negev and the population to the east of the Dead Sea. The Jerusalem geographer al-Muqaddasi, writing in 985 described the town as:

Habra (Hebron) is the village of Abraham al-Khalil (the Friend of God)...Within it is a strong fortress...being of enormous squared stones. In the middle of this stands a dome of stone, built in Islamic times, over the sepulchre of Abraham. The tomb of Isaac lies forward, in the main building of the mosque, the tomb of Jacob to the rear; facing each prophet lies his wife. The enclosure has been converted into a mosque, and built around it are rest houses for the pilgrims, so that they adjoin the main edifice on all sides. A small water conduit has been conducted to them. All the countryside around this town for about half a stage has villages in every direction, with vineyards and grounds producing grapes and apples called Jabal Nahra...being fruit of unsurpassed excellence...Much of this fruit is dried, and sent to Egypt.
In Hebron is a public guest house continuously open, with a cook, a baker and servants in regular attendance. These offer a dish of lentils and olive oil to every poor person who arrives, and it is set before the rich, too, should they wish to partake. Most men express the opinion this is a continuation of the guest house of Abraham, however, it is, in fact from the bequest of [the sahaba (companion) of the prophet Muhammad] Tamim-al Dari and others.... The Amir of Khurasan...has assigned to this charity one thousand dirhams yearly, ...al-Shar al-Adil bestowed on it a substantial bequest. At present time I do not know in all the realm of al-Islam any house of hospitality and charity more excellent than this one..[38]
Tamim al-Dari, before converting to Islam, lived in southern Palestine. The prophet Muhammad arranged for Hebron, Beit Einun and surrounding villages to be a part of al-Dari's domain; this was implemented during Umar's reign as caliph. According to the arrangement, al-Dari and his descendants were only permitted to tax the residents for their land and the waqf of the Ibrahimi Mosque was entrusted to them.[39]

The custom, known as the 'table of Abraham' (simāt al-khalil), was similar to the one established by the Fatimids, and in Hebron's version, it found its most famous expression. The Persian traveller Nasir-i-Khusraw who visited Hebron in 1047 records in his Safarnama that

"... this Sanctuary has belonging to it very many villages that provide revenues for pious purposes. At one of these villages is a spring, where water flows out from under a stone, but in no great abundance; and it is conducted by a channel, cut in the ground, to a place outside the town (of Hebron), where they have constructed a covered tank for collecting the water...The Sanctuary (Mashad), stands on the southern border of the town....it is enclosed by four walls. The Mihrab (or niche) and the Maksurah (or enclosed space for Friday-prayers) stand in the width of the building (at the south end). In the Maksurah are many fine Mihrabs.[40] He further recorded that "They grow at Hebron for the most part barley, wheat being rare, but olives are in abundance. The [visitors] are given bread and olives. There are very many mills here, worked by oxen and mules, that all day long grind the flour, and further, there are slave-girls who, during the whole day are baking bread. The loaves are [about three pounds] and to every persons who arrives they give daily a loaf of bread, and a dish of lentils cooked in olive-oil, also some raisins....there are some days when as many as five hundred pilgrims arrive, to each of whom this hospitality is offered."[41][42]

Crusader ruleEdit

The Caliphate lasted in the area, which was predominantly populated by peasants of various Christian persuasions,[43] until 1099, when the Christian Crusader Godfrey de Bouillon took Hebron and renamed it "Castellion Saint Abraham".[44] He then gave Hebron to Gerard of Avesnes as the fief of Saint Abraham. Gerard of Avesnes was a knight from Hainault held hostage at Arsuf, north of Jaffa, who had been wounded by Godfrey's own forces during the siege of the port, and later returned by the Muslims to Godfrey as a token of good will.[45] As a Frankish garrison of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, soon governed by Tancred, Prince of Galilee, its defence was precarious, being 'little more than an island in a Moslem ocean'.[46] The Crusaders converted the mosque and the synagogue into a church and expelled Jews living there. In 1106, an Egyptian campaign thrust into southern Palestine and almost succeeded in wresting back Hebron in 1107 from the crusaders from Baldwin I of Jerusalem, who personally led the counter-charge to beat the Muslim forces off.

In the year 1119 during the reign of Baldwin II of Jerusalem, then, according to Ali of Herat (writing in 1173), a certain part over the cave of Abraham had given way, and "a number of Franks had made their entrance therein". And they discovered "(the bodies) of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob", "their shrouds having fallen to pieces, lying propped up against a wall...Then the King, after providing new shrouds, caused the place to be closed once more". Similar information is given in Ibn at Athir's Chronicle under the year 1119; "In this year was opened the tomb of Abraham, and those of his two sons Isaac and Jacob ...Many people saw the Patriarch. Their limbs had nowise been disturbed, and beside them were placed lamps of gold and of silver."[47] The Damascene nobleman and historian Ibn al-Qalanisi in his chronicle also alludes at this time to the discovery of relics purported to be those of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, a discovery which excited eager curiosity among all three communities in Palestine, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian.[48]

Towards the end of the period of Crusader rule, in 1166 Maimonides visited Hebron, which he apparently thought lay east of Jerusalem,[49] and wrote,

'On Sunday, 9 Marheshvan (17 October), I left Jerusalem for Hebron to kiss the tombs of my ancestors in the Cave. On that day, I stood in the cave and prayed, praise be to God, (in gratitude) for everything'.[50]

In 1167 the episcopal see of Hebron was created along with that of Kerak and Sebastia (the tomb of John the Baptist).[51]

In 1170, Benjamin of Tudela visited the city, which he called by its Frankish name, St.Abram de Bron. He reported:

Here there is the great church called St. Abram, and this was a Jewish place of worship at the time of the Mohammedan rule, but the Gentiles have erected there six tombs, respectively called those of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah. The custodians tell the pilgrims that these are the tombs of the Patriarchs, for which information the pilgrims give them money. If a Jew comes, however, and gives a special reward, the custodian of the cave opens unto him a gate of iron, which was constructed by our forefathers, and then he is able to descend below by means of steps, holding a lighted candle in his hand. He then reaches a cave, in which nothing is to be found, and a cave beyond, which is likewise empty, but when he reaches the third cave behold there are six sepulchres, those of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, respectively facing those of Sarah, Rebekah and Leah.[52]

Ayyubid and Mamluk ruleEdit

The Kurdish Muslim Saladin took Hebron in 1187, and changed the name of the city back to Al-Khalil. A Kurdish quarter still existed in the town during the early period of Ottoman rule.[53] Richard the Lionheart subsequently took the city soon after. Richard of Cornwall, brought from England to settle the dangerous feuding between Templars and Hospitallers, whose rivalry imperiled the treaty guaranteeing regional stability stipulated with the Egyptian Sultan As-Salih Ayyub, managed to impose peace on the area. But soon after his departure, feuding broke out and in 1241 the Templars mounted a damaging raid on what was, by now, Muslim Hebron, in violation of agreements.[54]

In 1260, Sultan Baibars established Mamluk rule. The minarets were built onto the structure of the Cave of Machpelah/Ibrahami Mosque at that time. Six years later, while on pilgrimage to Hebron, Baibars promulgated an edict forbidding Christians and Jews from entering the sanctuary,[55] and the climate became less tolerant of Jews and Christians than it had been under the prior Ayyubid rule. The edict for the exclusion of Christians and Jews was not strictly enforced until the middle of the 14 Century and by 1490 not even Muslims were permitted to enter the underground caverns.[56]

The mill at Artas was built in 1307 where the profits from its income were dedicated to the Hospital in Hebron.[57]

Many visitors wrote about Hebron over the next two centuries, among them Nachmanides (1270), Ishtori HaParchi (1322),[58] and Rabbi Meshulam from Volterra (1481).[59] HaParchi in 1322 does not record any Jews in Hebron.[58][60] Other minute descriptions of Hebron were recorded in Stephen von Gumpenberg’s Journal (1449), Felix Fabri (1483) and by Mejr ed-Din[61] It was in this period, also, that the Mamluk Sultan Al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Qa'it Bay revived the old custom of the Hebron table of Abraham, and exported it as a model for his own madrasa in Medina.[62] This became an immense charitable establishment near the Haram, distributing daily some 1,200 loaves of bread to travellers of all faiths.[63]

Ottoman ruleEdit

Hebron - Roberts 1839

Hebron in 1839, after a drawing by David Roberts

The expansion the Ottoman Empire along the southern Mediterranean coast under sultan Selim I coincided with the Reyes Católicos (Catholic Monarchs) establishing Inquisition commissions. The fear engendered during the Inquisitions caused a migration of Conversos, (Marranos and Moriscos) and Sephardi Jews into Ottoman provinces, ending the centuries of the Iberian convivencia. The migrants initially settled in Constantinople, Salonika, Sarajevo, Sofia and Anatolia and could now freely travel throughout the territories that had fallen under Turkish administration enabling the sparse Jewish population of Hebron to grow.[60][64][65] With the Ottoman occupation of the Holy Land, a slow influx of Jews performing aliyah took place. By 1523, a Karaite community, consisting of 10 families, is registered as living in Hebron.[58] In 1540 Rabbi Malkiel Ashkenazi bought a courtyard (El Cortijo) and established the Sephardi Abraham Avinu Synagogue. This structure was restored in 1738 and enlarged in 1864, but the community was small. Decades later, it was still difficult to form a minyan, or quorum of ten, for prayer.[66] The congregation also suffered from heavy debts, almost quadrupling from 1717 to 1729.[67] However, in 1807, a 5-dunam (5,000 m²) plot was purchased, where Hebron's wholesale market stands today.

During the Ottoman period, the dilapidated state of the patriarchs' tombs was restored to a semblance of sumptuous dignity. Ali Bey, one of the few foreigners to gain access, reported in 1807 that,

'all the sepulchres of the patriarchs are covered with rich carpets of green silk, magnificently embroidered with gold; those of the wives are red, embroidered in like manner. The sultans of Constantinople furnish these carpets, which are renewed from time to time. Ali Bey counted nine, one over the other, upon the sepulchre of Abraham.'[68]
Hebron also became known throughout the Arab world for its glass production, and the industry is mentioned in the books of 19th century Western travellers to Palestine. For example, Ulrich Jasper Seetzen noted during his travels in Palestine in 1808-09 that 150 persons were employed in the glass industry in Hebron,[69] while later, in 1844, Robert Sears wrote that Hebron's population of 400 Arab families "manufactured glass lamps, which are exported to Egypt. Provisions are abundant, and there is a considerable number of shops."[70]

Early 19th century travellers also remarked on Hebron's flourishing agriculture. Apart from glassware, it was a major exporter of dibsé, grape sugar,[71] from the famous Dabookeh grapestock characteristic of Hebron.[72]

Frith, Francis (1822-1898) - Views in the Holy Land - n. 428 - Hebron. Northern Half of the City - recto

Northern Hebron in the mid-19th century (1822–1898)

In 1823, the Lubavitcher Hasidic movement established a community in Hebron.[73]

An estimated 750 Muslims from Hebron had been drafted as soldiers, and some 500 of them were killed.[74] In response Qasim al-Ahmad, nahiya (clan leader) of Jamma'in near Nablus, raised the area now known as the West bank in the Palestinian Arab revolt of 1834. Hebron, headed by its nazir Abd ar-Rahman Amr, took part in the rebellion and suffered badly in Ibrahim Pasha's campaign to crush the uprising. The town was invested and when the defences of the town fell on 4 August it was sacked by Ibrahim Pasha's army.[75][76][77] Most of the Muslim population managed to flee beforehand to the hills. The Jews however remained, and during the general pillage of the town five of them were killed.[78]

In 1835, Mr Fisk, an American missionary, visited Hebron. He estimated that there about 400 Arab and 120 Jewish families; the Jewish population having significantly dropped since the 1834 rebellion.[79]

In 1838, Hebron had an estimated 1,500 taxable Muslim households, in addition to some 240 Jews, 41 of whom were tax-payers. 200 Jews and one Christian household were under 'European protections'. The total population was estimated at 10,000.[80] At the time the population of Hebron was given according to the number of taxpayers, i.e., male heads of households who owned even a very small shop or piece of land.

When the Government of Ibrahim Pasha fell in 1841, the local clan-head Abd ar-Rahman Amr once again resumed the reins of power as the Sheik of Hebron. Due to his extortionate demands for cash from the local population, most of the Jewish population fled to Jerusalem.[58] In 1846 the Ottoman Governor-in-chief of Jerusalem (serasker), Kıbrıslı Mehmed Emin Pasha, waged a campaign to subdue rebellious sheiks in the Hebron area, and while doing so, allowed his troops to sack the town. Though it was widely rumoured that he secretly protected Abd ar-Rahman,[81] the latter was deported together with other local leaders (such as Muslih al-'Azza of Bayt Jibrin), but he managed to return to the area in 1848.[82] By 1850, Hebron had grown to the point where it was considered a large village or small town.[58] The Jewish population consisted of 60 Sephardi families and a 30-year old Ashkenazi community of 50 families.[58]

In 1855, the newly-appointed Ottoman pasha ("governor") of the sanjak ("district") of Jerusalem, Kamil Pasha, attempted to subdue the rebellion in the Hebron region. Kamil and his army marched towards Hebron in July 1855, with representatives from the English, French and other Western consulates as witnesses. After crushing all opposition, Kamil appointed Salama Amr, the brother and strong rival of Abd al Rachman, as nazir of the Hebron region. After this relative quiet reigned in the town for the next 4 years.[83][84] Hungarian Jews of the Karlin Hasidic court settled in another part of the city in 1866.[85] Arab-Jewish relations were good, and Alter Rivlin, who spoke Arabic and Syrian-Aramaic, was appointed Jewish representative to the city council.[85] From 1874 the Hebron district as part of the Sanjak of Jerusalem was administered directly from Istanbul.[86]

Late in the 19th century the production of Hebron glass declined due to competition from imported European glass-ware, however, the products of Hebron continued to be sold, particularly among the poorer populace and travelling Jewish traders from the city.[87] At the World Fair of 1873 in Vienna, Hebron was represented with glass ornaments. A report from the French consul in 1886 suggests that glass-making remained an important source of income for Hebron: Four factories were making 60,000 francs yearly.[88]

The Jewish community was under French protection until 1914. Hebron was highly conservative in its religious outlook, with a strong tradition of hostility to Jews.[89]

Twentieth century Edit

The British occupied Hebron on 8 December 1917. Later, this was sanctioned as a part of the British Mandate of Palestine. The Palestinian Arab decision to boycott the 1923 elections for a Palestinian Legislative Council was made at the fifth Palestinian Congress, at which most of the Palestinian Arab political organisations were represented. It was reported by Murshid Shahin (a pro-zionist activist) that there was intense resistance in Hebron to the elections.[90] At this time, following attempts by the Lithuanian government to draft yeshiva students into the army, the famed[who?] Lithuanian Knesses Yisroel, relocated, after consultations between Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Yechezkel Sarna and Moshe Mordechai Epstein, to Hebron.[91][92][93] The majority of the Jewish population lived on the outskirts of Hebron along the roads to Be'ersheba and Jerusalem, renting homes owned by Arabs, a number of which were built for the express purpose of housing Jewish tenants, with a few dozen within the city around the synagogues.[94] In the 1929 Hebron massacre, Arab rioters killed 67 Jews and wounded 60, and Jewish homes and synagogues were ransacked; 435 Jews survived by virtue of the shelter and assistance offered them by their Arab neighbours, who hid them.[95][96] Two years later, 35 families moved back into the ruins of the Jewish quarter, but on the eve of the Palestinian Arab national revolt (April, 1936,) the British Government decided to move the Jewish community out of Hebron as a precautionary measure to secure its safety. The sole exception was Ya'akov ben Shalom Ezra, who processed dairy products in the city, and resided in the city on weekdays. In November 1947, in anticipation of the UN partition vote, the Ezra family closed its shop and left the city.[97]

Yeshivat-shavey-hebron

Shavei Hebron yeshiva in the Beit Romano building of the Jewish quarter in old Hebron. Modern city visible at top

At the beginning of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt took control of Hebron. By late 1948 part of the Egyptian forces had been isolated around Hebron and Bethlehem, Pasha Glubb sent 350 Arab Legionnaires and established a Jordanian presence there.[98] With the signing of the Armistice agreements the city fell exclusively under Jordanian military control. The day after the truce agreement Shaykh Muhamad 'Ali al-Ja'bari, Mayor of Hebron and supporter of King Abdullah of Jordan attended the Jericho conference of Palestinian notables where the resolution calling for the unification of the Palestinian West Bank and Jordan was adopted.[98] In 1950 the West Bank was unilaterally incorporated into Jordan.

Jewish resettlement after the Six-Day WarEdit

After the Six-Day War in June 1967, Israel, according to the Allon Plan, was to exchange parts of the West Bank with Jordan in a proposal for trading land for peace, with Israel annexing 45% of the West Bank and Jordan the remainder.[99]
HebronStar

Star of David carved above entrance to a now Arab home in the old city of Hebron.[100]

David Ben-Gurion disagreed, and told the BBC that Hebron was the one sector of the conquered territories that should remain under Jewish control, as it became, in his view, Jewish four thousand years ago under Abraham.

In 1968, a group of Jews led by Rabbi Moshe Levinger rented the main hotel in Hebron and then refused to leave. The Labor government's survival depended on the National Religious Party, and was reluctant to evacuate the settlers, given the massacre that occurred decades earlier. After heavy lobbying by Levinger, the settlement gained the tacit support of Levi Eshkol and Yigal Allon.[101][102] After more than a year and a half of agitation and a bloody Arab attack on the Hebron settlers, the government agreed to allow Levinger's group to establish a town on the outskirts of the city"[103] in an abandoned military base at Kiryat Arba.[104]

In 1979, a group of settlers headed by Levinger's wife Miriam led 40 Jewish women and children to move back and take over the former Hadassah Hospital, now Beit Hadassah in central Hebron, to found the Committee of The Jewish Community of Hebron near the Abraham Avinu Synagogue. The take-over created severe conflict with Arab shopkeepers in the same area, who appealed twice to the Israeli Supreme Court, without success.[105] This was later extended to other Hebron neighborhoods including Tel Rumeida, and settlers are currently reported to be trying to purchase more homes in the city.[106][107]

Six Jews were killed and sixteen were injured in Hebron on May 2, 1980 at 7:30 P. M. They were returning from Friday evening services on foot, following Jewish religious law on the Sabbath, and were fired upon and attacked with grenades from the rooftops.[108]

A total of 86 Jewish families now live in Hebron.[109] Many reports, foreign and Israeli are sharply critical of the settlers.[110][111] Supporters of Jewish resettlement within Hebron see their program as the reclamation of an important heritage, dating back to Biblical times, which was dispersed after the massacre of 1929. Survivors and descendants of that prior community are mixed. Some support the project of Jewish redevelopment, others commend living in peace with Hebronite Arabs, while a third group recommend a full pullout.[112] Descendants supporting the latter views have met with Palestinian leaders in Hebron.[113] In 1997 one group of descendants dissociated themselves from the settlers by calling them an obstacle to peace.[113] On May 15, 2006, another group, a member of whom is a direct descendant of the 1929 refugees,[114] urged the government to continue its support of Jewish settlement, and allow the return of eight families evacuated the previous January from homes they set up in emptied shops near the Avraham Avinu neighborhood.[112] Beit HaShalom, established in 2007 under disputed circumstances, was under court orders permitting its forced evacuation.[115][116][117][118][119] All the Jews were expelled on December 3, 2008.[120]

Since early 1997, following the Hebron Agreement, the city has been divided into two sectors: H1 and H2. The H1 sector, home to around 120,000 Palestinians, came under the control of the Palestinian Authority.[121] H2, which was inhabited by around 30,000 Palestinians,[122] remained under Israeli military control to protect several hundred Jewish residents in the old Jewish quarter. A large drop has since taken place in the Palestinian population in H2, identified with the impact of extended curfews, strict restrictions on movement with 16 check-points in place,[123] the closure of Palestinian commercial activities near settler areas, and settler harassment.[122][124][125][126][127]

Post-Oslo Accord Edit

Israeli soldiers on Palestine street

Israeli soldiers in an Open-air market of the city.

File:شارع عين سارة.jpg

The Jewish community has been subject to attacks by Palestinian militants since the Oslo agreement, especially during the periods of the Intifadas; which saw 3 fatal stabbings and 9 fatal shootings in between the first and second Intifada (0.9% of all fatalities in Israel and the West Bank) and 17 fatal shootings (9 soldiers and 8 settlers) and 2 fatalities from a bombing during the second Intifada,[128] and thousands of rounds fired on it from the hills above the Abu-Sneina and Harat al-Sheikh neighbourhoods. 12 Israelis were killed (Hebron Brigade commander Colonel Dror Weinberg, 8 soldiers and 3 civilians, members of the civil defense unit of Kiryat Arba) in an ambush of Jewish settlers walking home from Sabbath prayers at the synagogue in the Cave of Machpelah, and of the policemen, security guards and soldiers who rushed to their rescue.[129] Two Temporary International Presence in Hebron observers were killed by Palestinian gunmen in a shooting attack on the road to Hebron[130][131][132]

According to Human Rights Watch, Palestinian areas of Hebron are frequently subject to indiscriminate firing by the IDF, leading to many casualties.[133]

On February 25, 1994, Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli physician and resident of Kiryat Arba, opened fire on Muslims at prayer in the Ibrahimi Mosque, killing 29, before the survivors overcame and killed him.[134][135] This event was condemned by the Israeli Government, and the extreme right-wing Kach party was banned as a result.[136]

Hebron mayor Mustafa Abdel Nabi invited the Christian Peacemaker Teams to assist the local Palestinian community in opposition to what they describe as Israeli military occupation, collective punishment, settler harassment, home demolitions and land confiscation.[137]

An international unarmed observer force—the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) was subsequently established to help the normalization of the situation and to maintain a buffer between the Palestinian Arab population of the city and the Jews residing in their enclave in the old city. On February 8, 2006, TIPH temporarily left Hebron after attacks on their headquarters by some Palestinians angered by the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. TIPH came back to Hebron a few months later.

In December 2008 Hebron settlers angry at the eviction of occupants from a disputed house rioted, shooting three Palestinians and burning Palestinian homes and olive groves. Video footage of the attacks was recorded, leading to widespread condemnation in Israel. The attacks were characterized as "a pogrom" by then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who said he was ashamed "as a Jew".[138][139]

Demographics Edit

Year Muslims Christians Jews Total Notes
1538 749 h 7 h 20 h 776 h (h = households) Source: Cohen & Lewis
1817 500 Source: Jewish Virtual Library.[140]
1837 423 Montefiore census
1838 700 Source: Jewish Virtual Library.[140]
1839 1295 f 1 f 4 f (f = families) Source: David Roberts[80][141]
1866 497 Montefiore census
1922 16,074 73 430 16,577 British Mandate Census
1929 700 Source: Jewish Virtual Library.[140]
1930 0 Source: Jewish Virtual Library.[140]
1931 17,277 109 134 17,532 Source: British Mandate Census[142]
1944 24,400 150 0 24,550 Estimate[citation needed]
1967 38,203 106 0 38,309 Census[citation needed]
1997 130,000 3 530 130,533 [140]

Israeli-Palestinian conflictEdit

The city of Hebron has been the site of numerous acts of violence from both sides in the context of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and remains an important locale in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israelis from the Jewish settlements found bordering Hebron (for example Tel Rumeida, Kiryat Arba) at times harass and provoke the indigenous Palestinian population. These settlements are found to be illegal under international humanitarian law as set by the Fourth Geneva Convention, however Israel has claimed that these laws do not apply (and thus that settlement will continue), as the primary objective of the Jewish state is to protect itself and the livelihood of its inhabitants.[143]

The Hebron Jewish community has been subject to attacks by Palestinian militants since the Oslo agreement, especially during the periods of the Intifadas; which saw 3 fatal stabbings and 9 fatal shootings in between the first and second Intifada (0.9% of all fatalities in Israel and the West Bank) and 17 fatal shooting (9 soldiers and 8 settlers) and 2 fatalities from a bombing during the second Intifada,[128] and thousands of rounds fired on it from the hills above the Abu-Sneina and Harat al-Sheikh neighbourhoods. While the settler compound of Beit haddassah has been used as a firing point to shoot indiscriminately into Palestinian areas.[144]

The 1994 Shamgar Commission of Inquiry concluded that Israeli authorities had consistently failed to investigate or prosecute crimes committed by settlers against Palestinians. According to Human Rights Watch, the settler bias of the IDF was confirmed and clarified by Hebron commander Noam Tivon when he stated in an Ha'aretz article:

Let there be no mistake about it. I am not from the UN. I am from the Israeli Defense Force. I did not come here to seek people to drink tea with, but first of all to ensure the security of the Jewish settlers.[145]

Tivon, on 6 October 2000, stated that the "Palestinian Authority is encouraging children to participate in clashes with the IDF by offering their families $300 per injury and $2,000 for anyone killed and that Israeli "soldiers have acted with the utmost restraint and have not initiated any shooting attacks or violence."[146]

Landmarks Edit

Russian Orthodox Monastery in Hebron

On the grounds of Russian Orthodox monastery in Hebron

The Hebron archaeological museum has a collection of artifacts from the Canaanite to the Islamic periods.

The Oak of Sibta, at Hirbet es-Sibte, two kilometres southwest of Mamre, also called 'The Oak of Abraham' or 'The Oak of Mamre', is an ancient tree which, in non-Jewish tradition,[147] is said to mark the place where Abraham pitched his tent. It is estimated that this oak is approximately 5,000 years old. The Russian Orthodox Church owns the site and the nearby monastery.

Other landmarks are Abraham's Well and the tombs of Abner ben Ner (the commander of Saul and David's army), Ruth and Jesse.

See also Edit

References Edit

Some or all of this article is forked from Wikipedia. The original article was at Hebron. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

  1. 1.0 1.1 2007 Locality Population Statistics. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
  2. Palestinian security forces deploy in Hebron 25/10/2008 gives about 500 as of October 2008
  3. Deborah Campbell, This Heated Place: Encounters in the Promised Land, Douglas & McIntyre, 2004 p.63; James L. Gelvin, The Israel-Palestine Conflict: One Hundred Years of War,Cambridge University Press, 2005 p.190; Jerry Levin West Bank Diary: Middle East Violence as Reported by a Former American Hostage, Hope Publishing House, 2005 p.26;Antony Loewenstein,My Israel Question: Reframing the Israel/Palestine Conflict, Melbourne University Publishing, 2006, p.47; Robin Wright,Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East,Penguin Group, 2008 p.38
  4. For the figure of 700 settlers see Jennifer Medina, "'Settlers’ Defiance Reflects Postwar Israeli Changes", The New York Times, April 22, 2007
  5. For the figure of 800 settlers, see Yaakov Katz, Tovah Lazaroff, "Hebron settlers try to buy more homes", The Jerusalem Post, April 14, 2007
  6. "Historical background on the Hebron Jewish Quarter". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/hebron.html. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  7. "Hebron". Virtual Israel Experience. Jewish Virtual Library. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vie/Hebron.html. 
  8. Hebron University Hebron University, P O Box 40, Hebron. West Bank, Palestine. Telephone: +970-2-2220995
  9. Abu, Khaled (2008-04-13). "Jpost". Jpost. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1207649995125. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  10. "PPU Library Hebron". Library.ppu.edu. http://library.ppu.edu/About.aspx. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  11. "UNESCO". Portal.unesco.org. http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=26006&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  12. Time Higher education Hebron welcomes pull-out by Helena Flusfeder in Hebron 24 January 1997
  13. Marcello Craveri, The Life of Jesus: An assessment through modern historical evidence, 1967, p.25
  14. A minor tradition suggests that Zachiarah himself, as a priest, perhaps hailed from Hebron, which was a Levitical city. See Henry Hart Milman, The History of Christianity from the Birth of Christ to the Abolition of Paganism in the Roman Empire,Baudry's European Library, 1840, Vol.1, p.49 and note 2.
  15. Ernest Renan, The Life of Jesus, Trübner, 1864 p.93. Renan remarks of the town that it is 'one of the bulwarks of Semitic ideas, in their most austere form’
  16. cf.Amorite ḥibrum. In general see. G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren, Heinz-Josef Fabry, Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, Wm. B. Eerdmans 1974,ISBN 0802823297 pp.193ff. The root has magical overtones, and develops pejorative connotations in late Biblical usage
  17. Surah 4 Ayara (verse) 125, Qur'an (source text)
  18. Joshua, ch.20, 1-7
  19. Avraham Negev, Shimon Gibson, Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land, Continuum International Publishing Group (2001) p.224-5
  20. Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, Free Press, New York, 2001, p.45
  21. Daniel J.Elazar,Covenant and Polity in Biblical Israel, Transaction Publishers, 1998 p.128
  22. W. Robertson Smith, Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, ed.Stanley A.Cook (1903) Beacon Press, reprint, Boston (n.d.) p.200
  23. E:G:H.Kraeling, "The Early Cult of Hebron and Judg. 16:1–3", in The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, vol.41, No.3 (April,) 1025 pp.174–178 p.178
  24. Robert Alter, tr.Genesis: Translation and Commentary, 1996 p.108
  25. Joshua 14:15
  26. Joshua 21:3-12: I Chronicles 6.54-56
  27. Robert G. Bratcher, Barclay Moon Newman, A Translator's Handbook on the Book of Joshua, United Bible Societies, 1996 p.262
  28. Miller, James Maxwell (1986), A History of Ancient Israel and Judah, Westminster John Knox Press, ISBN 066421262X p 168
  29. Detlef Jericke, Abraham in Mamre: Historische und exegetische Studien zur Region von Hebron und zu Genesis 11,27-19,38, Brill, 2003 pp.26ff.p.31
  30. Charles E.Carter, The Emergence of Yehud in the Persian Period: A Social and Demographic Study', Continuum International, 1999 pp.98-9. Carter challenges this view, since it has no archeological support.
  31. Nehemiah,11:25
  32. Josephus Flavius Antiquities of the Jews Book 12 chapter 8 paragraph 6. Judas and his brethren did not leave off fighting with the Idumeans, but pressed upon them on all sides, and took from them the city of Hebron, and demolished all its fortifications, and set all its towers on fire, and burnt the country of the foreigners, and the city Marissa.
  33. Josephus, Jewish War', iv.9,7,9
  34. Jerome, in Zachariam 11:5; in Hieremiam 6:18; Chronicon paschale, cited Emil Schürer, Fergus Millar, Géza Vermes, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.-135 A.D.), Continuum International, 1973 p.553 and note 178
  35. Catherine Hezser, ‘The Social Status of Slaves in the Talmud Yerushalmi and in Graeco-Roman Society,’’ in Peter Schäfer, Catherine Hezser, (eds.), The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graece-Roman Culture, Mohr Siebeck, 1998 pp.91-138, p.96
  36. Norwich, John Julius (1988) Byzantium; The Early Centuries; Penguin Books p 285
  37. When they (the Muslims) came to Hebron they were amazed to see the strong and handsome structures of the walls and they could not find an opening through which to enter, then the Jews happened to come, who lived in the area under the former rule of the Greeks (that is the Byzantines), and they said to the Muslims: give us (a letter of security) that we may continue to live (in our places) under your rule (literally-amongst you) and permit us to build a synagogue in front of the entrance (to the city). If you will do this, we shall show you where you can break in. And it was so. (two monks: Eudes and Arnoul CE 1119-1120) Moshe Gil and Ethel Broido (1997) A History of Palestine, 634-1099 Translated by Ethel Broido Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521599849 pp 56 - 57
  38. Al-Muqaddasi (Basil Anthony Collins (Translator)): The Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions. Ahasan al-Taqasim Fi Ma'rifat al-Aqalim. Garnet Publishing, Reading, 1994, ISBN 1873938144, p. 156-157. Older translation is given in Le Strange, Guy: Palestine under the Moslems. London, 1890. p. 309 and p.310
  39. Houtsma, Martijn. Arnold, T.W. (1993).E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936 BRILL, pp.646-648. ISBN 9004097961
  40. Le Strange, Guy: Palestine under the Moslems. London, 1890. p. 310 and p.311
  41. Le Strange, Guy: Palestine under the Moslems. London, 1890. p. 315
  42. Amy Singer, Constructing Ottoman Beneficence: An Imperial Soup Kitchen in Jerusalem, SUNY Press, New York, 2002 p.148
  43. Steven Runciman,A History of the Crusades (1951) 1965 vol.1 p.303
  44. 'The Castle of St. Abraham' was the generic Crusader name for Hebron. Edward Robinson, Eli Smith, Biblical Researches in Palestine, and in the Adjacent Regions: A Journal of Travels in the Year 1838, Crocker and Brewster, 1856 vol.2, p.78
  45. Runciman, A History of the Crusades, pp.308–309
  46. Runciman, A History of the Crusades, vol.2 p.4
  47. Le Strange, Guy: Palestine under the Moslems. London, 1890. p. 317, p. 318
  48. ‘C.Kohler, ‘Un nouveau récit de l’invention des Patriarches Abraham, Isaac et Jacob à Hebron,’ in Revue de l’Orient Latin, vol 4 (1896) Paris pp.477ff. (2) Runciman, A History of the Crusades vol.2 p.319
  49. Horatius Bonar, The Land of Promise: Notes of a Spring-journey from Beersheba to Sidon', Adamant Media Corporation, 2002 reprint, p.71
  50. Lawrence Fine, Judaism in Practice: From the Middle Ages Through the Early Modern Period, Princeton University Press, 2001 p.422
  51. Jean Richard, The Crusades; c.1071-c 1291, Cambridge University press ISBN 0-521-62566-1 p. 112
  52. Adler, M.N., The Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela, (Oxford Univ. Press, 1907), p25.
  53. Michael Avi-Yonah, A History of Israel and the Holy Land, Continuum, New York & London, 2003 p.297
  54. Runciman,A History of the Crusades vol.3 p.219
  55. Michael Angold, Eastern Christianity, Cambridge University Press, 2006,p.402
  56. Murphy-O'Connor, Jerome (1998) The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700 Oxford University Press, ISBN 0192880136 p 274
  57. Sharon, Moshe (1997) Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae, (CIAP) BRILL, ISBN 9004108335
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 58.3 58.4 58.5 Yehoseph Schwarz, Isaac Leeser, (1850) A Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine Translated by Isaac Leeser A. Hart, Original from Oxford University pp 397-401
  59. See the account in Leo Walder Schwarz, Memoirs of My People: Jewish Self-portraits from the 11th to the 20th Centuries,Schocken Books, New York 1963 p.40
  60. 60.0 60.1 Alfassa.com Sephardic Contributions to the Development of the State of Israel By Shelomo Alfassá
  61. Edward Robinson, Eli Smith, Biblical Researches in Palestine, and in the Adjacent Regions: A Journal of Travels in the Year 1838, Crocker and Brewster, 1860 vol.2 p.440-442 n.1)
  62. Ami Singer, Constructing Ottoman Beneficence: An Imperial Soup Kitchen in Jerusalem, SUNY Press 2002 p.148
  63. Edward Robinson, Eli Smith, Biblical Researches in Palestine, ibid. vol.2, p.458
  64. Toby Green (2007) Inquisition; The Reign of Fear Macmillan Press ISBN 978-1-4050-8873-2 pp xv-xix
  65. Arutz Sheva A Sephardic Perspective on Hevron Part I by Shelomo Alfassa
  66. "Hebron". Mb-soft.com. http://www.mb-soft.com/believe/txx/hebron.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  67. 12,000 Kurus to 46,000 Kurus. See Jacob Barnai, Y. Barnay, Naomi Goldblum (1992) The Jews in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: Under the Patronage of the Istanbul Committee of Officials for Palestine Translated by Naomi Goldblum, University of Alabama Press, ISBN 0817305726 and ISBN 9780817305727 pp 89-90
  68. Michael Russell, Palestine Or the Holy Land from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, Kessinger 2004 p.127. The source was a manuscript, 'The Travels of Ali Bey, vol.ii, pp.232-3 according to Thomas Hartwell Horne, William Finden, Edward Francis Finden, Landscape Illustrations of the Bible: Consisting of Views of the Most Remarkable Places Mentioned in the Old and New Testaments: from Original Sketches Taken on the Spot,’’ John Murray, London, 1836, vol.1 p.
  69. Quoted in Alexander Schölch (1993): Palestine in Transformation, 1856-1882, p.161
  70. Sears, A New and Complete History of the Holy Bible as Contained in the Old and New Testaments, 1844, p. 260
  71. Conrad Malte-Brun, Universal Geography: Or, a Description of All Parts of the World, on a New Plan, J.Laval, 1829 p.362. The word is a loan-word from Hebrew (debash, 'honey, syrup of grapes'
  72. James Finn, Byeways in Palestine, 1868 p.39
  73. Martin Sicker (1999) Reshaping Palestine: From Muhammad Ali to the British Mandate, 1831-1922 Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 0275966399 and ISBN 9780275966393 p. 6
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  75. Kimmerling, Baruch and Migdal, Joel S, (2003) The Palestinian People: A History, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0674011317 p. 6-11
  76. "p.88". Quod.lib.umich.edu. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moa&cc=moa&idno=afg7241.0002.001&q1=hebron&frm=frameset&view=image&seq=106. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  77. Joseph Schwarz, translator Isaac Leeser, A Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine, A. Hart, Philadelphia, 1850 p. 403
  78. Joseph Schwarz, translator Isaac Leeser, A Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine, A. Hart, Philadelphia, 1850 p. 399 In 5594 (1834) Hebron met with a heavy calamity, since it was taken by storm on the 28 day of Tamuz (July), by Abraim Pacha, and given up to his soldiers for several days……Nearly all the Mahomedans inhabitants fled into the depth of the mountain range, but the Jews could not do this; besides which, they entertained little fear, since they could not be viewed as rebels and enemies by Abraim, wherefore they fell an easy prey into the hands of the assailants.
  79. Packard, Frederick Adolphus. (1855)The Union Bible Dictionary American Sunday-School Union, p 304
  80. 80.0 80.1 Robinson, p.88
  81. James Finn, Stirring Times, Or, Records from Jerusalem Consular Chronicles of 1853 To 1856, Adamant Media Corporation reprint, 2004, pp.287f
  82. Schölch (1993), p. 234-235
  83. Schölch (1993), p. 236-237
  84. Finn (1878), Vol II, p. 305-308
  85. 85.0 85.1 Ha'aretz A window on the massacre By Nadav Shragai
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  87. Delpuget, David: Les Juifs d´Alexandrie, de Jaffa et de Jérusalem en 1865, Bordeaux, 1866, p. 26. Quoted in Schölch (1993); p.161, 162
  88. Quoted in Schölch (1993); p.161, 162
  89. Henry Laurens, La Question de Palestine, Fayard, Paris vol.1, ISBN 221361251X p.508
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  91. Berel Wein Triumph of Survival: The Story of the Jews in the Modern Era, 1650-1990,Mesorah Publications, 1993 pp.138-9
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  94. Segev, Tom (2000) p 318
  95. Independent 26 January 2008 A rough guide to Hebron: The world's strangest guided tour highlights the abuse of Palestinians
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  97. Shragai, Nadav, And the Loser Rejoiced, Haaretz June 11, 2008
  98. 98.0 98.1 Wilson, Mary Christina. (1990) King Abdullah, Britain and the Making of Jordan Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521399874 pp 181-183
  99. Chaim Herzog Heroes of Israel, p.253
  100. Christian Peacemaking Teams. Hebron Update: August 17-23, 2004, 2004-9-1
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  102. Segev, Tom (2007) pp 578-579 'The prime minister invited the elderly rabbi to see him. They spoke for three or four hours, Eshkol later told members of the General Staff. he thought the rabbi would ask for a particular building, but Sarna said "I want you to clear out the whole street for me." Eshkol thought me might have misunderstood, but Sarna explained that as soon as the war began, Israel "should have slaughtered the Arabs of Hebron one by one." In May 1968, the government decided to renew settlement activities in Hebron.'
  103. Ian Lustick: For the Land and the Lord: Jewish fundamentalism in Israel. New York, N.Y.: Council on Foreign Relations, 1988. Chapter 3
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  144. Center of the Storm: A Case Study of Human Rights Abuses in Hebron District By Human Rights Watch, Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Watch (Organization), Clarisa Bencomo Published by Human Rights Watch, 2001 ISBN 1564322602 and ISBN 9781564322609 pp 5 & 45-46
  145. Center of the Storm: A Case Study of Human Rights Abuses in Hebron District By Human Rights Watch, Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Watch (Organization), Clarisa Bencomo Published by Human Rights Watch, 2001 ISBN 1564322602 and ISBN 9781564322609 pp 30-31
  146. [2]Jerusalem Post, October 6, 2000 "IDF: Palestinians offer $2,000 for 'martyrs'"
  147. 'the great oak of Sibta, commonly called Abraham’s oak by most people except the Jews, who do not believe in any Abraham’s oak there. The great patriarch planted, indeed, a grove at Beersheba; but the “Eloné Manre” they declare to have been “plains,” not “oaks,” (which would be Alloné Mamre,) and to have been situated northwards instead of westwards from the present Hebron.' James Finn, Byeways in Palestine. 1868 p.184

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External links Edit

Template:Cities in the West Bank

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