Tens of thousands of Jewish civilians, lawmakers and senior rabbis have been streaming into the ancient holy city of Hebron on this third day of Passover for the annual holiday festival celebrating the city’s ancient Jewish heritage.
The Jewish community of Hebron is hosting a celebration at the Cave of the Patriarchs to mark the upcoming half-century year since the restoration of the city to Jewish hands by Israeli forces during the 1967 Six Day War.
Attending Monday’s festivities will be Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, Bayit Yehudi Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan. Also attending will be Likud Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara, a spokesperson said.
Music, refreshments and more have been the order of the day, as the Passover Chol HaMoed festivities erased the frequent tensions felt among Jewish residents in the divided city.
In the wee hours of Monday, Israeli security personnel arrested at least four Hamas terror suspects around Hebron, prior to the day’s events.
Millions of visitors come each year to pray at the Cave of the Patriarchs, burial site of the Biblical forefathers and matriarchs Avraham, Yitzhak, Ya’akov, Sarah, Rivka and Leah (Rachel’s Tomb is located at the entrance to Bethlehem). It is said that even Adam and Eve are interred there.
Muslims also revere the site, since their ancestor, Ishmael, is a son of Avraham.
Hana Levi Julian