Security forces conducted extensive sweeps in Hebron following intelligence information received Friday evening regarding an explosive device that had been placed in an undisclosed location in the city.
Eventually a suspect was located, hiding in a local hotel, and during his interrogation he revealed the location of the explosive device – a gas tank connected to explosives and a mobile phone.
In his interrogation, the terrorist, reportedly a Jordanian national who arrived in Israel as a tourist, confessed that he had planned to throw a Molotov cocktail in order to attract the attention of security forces, and once they arrived at the place of ambush to turn on the explosive charge via the phone.
Following the 1995 Oslo Agreement and subsequent 1997 Hebron Agreement, Arab cities in Judea and Samaria were placed under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, with the exception of Hebron, which was split into two sectors: H1 is controlled by the Palestinian Authority and H2 controlled by Israel.
A team of archaeologists revealed the existence of a 1000-year-old text, dated to the beginning of the Islamic era, which indicates that the Muslims perceived the Dome of the Rock as a reestablishment of the earlier Jewish Temple. They referred to it as “Bayt al-maqdis” in the inscription, which derives from the biblical Hebrew terminology as ‘Beit Hamikdash’, known as the Hebrew reference to the Holy Temple. This unique find is located in the central mosque at the village of Nuba, next to the city of Hebron. Its significance lies in the fact that it is dated to the early Islamic Period, and it sheds light on the sanctification process of Jerusalem and especially of the Temple Mount to the Muslems.
The text on the rock quotes:
“In the name of Allah, the merciful God This territory, Nuba, and all its boundaries and its entire area, is an endowment to the Rock of Bayt al-Maqdis and the al-Aqsa Mosque, as it was dedicated by the Commander of the Faithful, ̒Umar iben al-Khattab for the sake of Allah the Almighty”
The village of Nuba is mentioned in the inscription text as an endowment to the Rock of Bayt al-Maqdis [The Holy Temple] and the al-Aqsa Mosque. The text also notes that the one who did the dedication was ̒Umar iben al-Khattab, the Arab ruler who conquered Jerusalem from the Byzantines in 638 AD.
Assaf Avraham and Peretz Reuven, the archeologists who presented the existence of the inscription last week in the Conference on ‘New studies in the archaeology of Jerusalem and its region’ that was held at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, pointed out that this text is, in fact, testimony that at least one of the names of the Dome of the Rock in the first centuries of Islam was “Bayt al-Maqdis” which preserves the Hebrew name “Beyt ha-Miqdash” (literally the “House of Sanctuary”).
“The choice to use the name ‘Bayt al-Maqdis’ was not original,” says Assaf Avraham. “Using this name derived from the deep influence of Jewish tradition on the development of Islam in its earliest days.” In an article that was published in the Conference pamphlet, early evidence was presented in the form of quotes by Moslem believers who, it appears, entered and prayed within a place of worship at the Temple Mount, which was named “Bayt al-Maqdis” For example:
“I would regularly pray with Ibn-Dahar in Bayt al-Maqdis, when he entered, he used to remove his shoes.” “Anyone who comes to Bayt al-Maqdiss only for the sake of praying inside it – is cleansed of all his sins.” “I entered Bayt al-Maqdis and saw a man taking longer than usual for his bows.” “The rock that is in Bayt al-Maqdis is the center of the entire universe.”
“Early Islamic literature shows that religious rituals were conducted within the Dome of the Rock at the beginning of the Islamic era” says Assaf; “These rituals were inspired by ancient traditions which took place within The Biblical Temple as is documented in the bible and in ancient Jewish literature”. An ancient Muslim source describes and stresses this point:
“Every Monday and Thursday morning the attendants enter the bath house to wash and purify themselves. They take off their clothes and put on a garment made of silk brocade embroidered with figures, and fasten tightly the girdle embellished with gold around their waists. And they rub the Rock over with perfume. Then the incense is put in censers of gold and silver. The gate-keepers lower the curtains so that the incense encircles the Rock entirely and the scent clings to it.”
These well documented and detailed procedures bear similarities to rituals that were practiced in the Jewish Temple, and were probably derived from them.
The Nuba inscription implies that the building of the Dome of the Rock marks the re-construction of the biblical Holy Temple, in essence, one of the most significant acts in the early history of Islam, a new world view that asked to glorify Jerusalem’s position as the world’s religious center for Islam.
When cross-referenced with other Muslim traditional literature of the time, it becomes clear that the Dome of the Rock’s structure was named Bayt Al-Maqdis in which prayers were conducted traditionally. It was the holiest structure within the Temple Mount and it was perceived as a renewed temple.
This unique revelation bears importance and relevance today considering Unesco’s latest resolution which ignores the Jewish affinity to the Temple mount.
It’s an old adage that lightning doesn’t strike in the same spot twice, but that doesn’t hold true for Jews in Judea and Samaria when it comes to terrorist attacks.
Ruthi Gillis, the widow of Dr. Shmuel Gillis, z’l, was targeted at around 7:30 pm Saturday night by Arab terrorists who opened fire at her while she was driving near the junction leading to her home community of Karmei Tzur.
Her husband, a doctor at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center, died in February 2001 in a similar terrorist attack, the victim of a drive-by shooting on his way home from a night shift.
He was attacked on Highway 60 in Judea, close to Karmei Tzur, as he passed the Arab village of El Aroub, just south of Gush Etzion.
Karmei Tzur is about five minutes south of El Aroub, and about 10 minutes north of Kiryat Arba.
This time, no one was physically injured in the attack. Gillis called police as soon as she heard and saw the bullets fly past, but kept driving until she made it to Gush Etzion, north of Karmei Tzur.
Security forces were deployed to search for the attacker, and later found two bullet casings close to the spot where Gillis was targeted.
The attackers and their vehicle have not yet been found.
Several leftwing creative and academic professionals have protested the decision of Israel’s national theater, Habima, to perform the show “A Simple Story,” written by Shahar Pinkas based on a S. Y. Agnon novel by the same name, in the JCC of Kiryat Arba, Hebron, next month, Ha’aretz reported Monday. The protesters called on Habima to cancel the performance, scheduled for November 10. Habima will also perform the same show on March 8 at the Ariel auditorium.
Haim Weiss, who teaches at Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva, wrote on his Facebook page: “As far as I was able to verify, this is the first time the Habima theater will perform in Kiryat Arba. The willingness of the theater, its workers and actors to take part in the normalization of the occupation by turning Kiryat Arba into yet another town where they perform is very troubling.”
Weiss asks, “Was it the financial difficulties the theater is facing and the hope that appearing in Hebron would cause the Culture Minister and other Ministers to support them, that led to the decision on performing in Kiryat Arba-Hebron?”
Last April, Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) issued a directive whereby theatrical institutions that perform in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria will receive a 10% increase in their state budgets, while institutions that refuse to include these communities in their schedule will suffer a 33% cut. The Israeli Civil Liberties Association has appealed the directive to the Supreme Court.
Weiss, who urged his Facebook friends to protest the decision, said it would be a great shame should Habima appear in “one of the most racist and violent bastions of the occupation.” He attached a picture of a banner advertising the November show, saying it was “symbolic that the banner for this shameful show was hung on a barbed wire fence.”
Written in 1935, “A Simple Story” describes the tribulations of a young man in Jewish community in a small town in eastern Europe, who loses his sanity over his love for a woman he could not marry. The novel is also a poignant social criticism of the bourgeois values of European Jews, who chase after food, drink, honor and avarice.