Israeli minister: We will never leave Hebron

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

Israeli Education Minister Gideon Saar on Tuesday said Israel must stop misleading the Palestinians and the international community into thinking the Arab-dominated Judean town of Hebron will one day be Jew-free, and instead clearly declare that Jews will never leave what is their second most holy city.

Hebron sits in the middle of the southern part of the so-called “West Bank,” territory claimed by the Palestinians for a future state. The Palestinian insist Jews will not be allowed to live in that state, and fully believe that international pressure will eventually force Israel to evacuate all Jews from there, just as all 10,000 of Gaza’s Jews were uprooted in 2005.

Saar said it is time for Israel to put that misguided thinking to rest.

Hebron and the neighboring Jewish town of Kiryat Arba are some of the “most important places to the Jewish people,” Saar said during a tour of the Judean towns.

Hebron is the location of the Cave of the Patriarchs, burial place of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah - all of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people with the exception of Rachel, who is buried in Bethlehem. Hebron is also one of the oldest towns on earth with a continual Jewish presence, and was the first capital of Israel’s most beloved king, David.

It is second only to Jerusalem in importance and holiness to the Jewish people, though the media’s portrayal of the Middle East peace process has almost entirely erased that fact, and today Hebron is presented as just another Palestinian town occupied by Israel.

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