Knesset Members tour Hebron amid Sovereignty Buzz

Knesset Ministers visited in a show of support for the Jewish community.

7.7.20, 12:21
Elected officials toured Hebron in separate visits in June to pledge their support for the Jewish community. The visits came just before the proposed date to implement parts of the Deal of the Century, a plan proposed by the United States government which would apply sovereignty to some areas of Judea and Samaria.
Members of Knesset met with local leaders such as Mayor Hillel Horowitz, spokesman Noam Arnon, former Members of Knesset Orit Strook, and others.
MK Eli Cohen, head of the Ministry of Intelligence arrived on June 29th and stated, "I was honored today to visit the city of the patriarchs, the site of the roots of the Jewish." As he stood outside the Tomb of Machpela, he added, "I have come to clarify above all doubt that in the framework of the Trump program, we will apply sovereignty also to the site of our ancestors, the city of Hebron, and we will create territorial continuity. We are facing a critical and historic time. Applying the sovereignty in Hebron is another link in the chain of the Jewish people."
MK Tzipi Hotovely, Minister of Settlement Affairs, an ardent supporter of the Jewish community visited on June 24th.

MK Sharren Haskel and MK Michal Shir visited together on June 25th. Both long-time supporters of the community, the two poured over maps of the proposed deal and discussed its pros and cons with local leaders.
MK Haskel stated, "I arrived today to Hebron Hill Regional Council, the Jewish community of Hebron and Kiryat Arba to learn the meaning of applying the sovereignty. This land is the heart of the land of Israel -- the place from which, in many ways, the history of the nation of Israel begins. We must not give up on settlement in these areas or abandon their safety. I will do everything to make sure that sovereignty will be applied while maintaining security and Jewish settlement in the broadest terms and no matter what, we will not lend a hand to the establishment of a Palestinian terrorist state."
MK Shir posted a photo of herself and MK Haskel on her Facebook page stating "connected for the sake of the Land of Israel."
MK Rafi Peretz, head of the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage visited June 30th and stated, "Hebron is the city of our ancestors, now and forever."
Earlier in the month, Rabbi Yaakov Avitan, as the newly appointed Minister of Religious Affairs, toured Hebron holy sites with other staff from the Ministry including director general Oded Plus on June 2nd.
At the Tomb of Machpela, Rabbi Avitan offered a special prayer for all those suffering from COVID-19 and the health care workers and medical staff fighting the pandemic. Standing in front of the memorial marker for the Tomb of Jacob, he quoted the famous Ma Tovu prayer, stating "how great are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel."
Concerns for Hebron's future in a proposed deal include security threats to the Jewish community. The proposed map included in the Deal of the Century could make Hebron and Kiryat Arba isolated enclaves accessible only by circuitous by-pass roads, argued some. The target date of July 1st was ultimately pushed off indefinitely.
The city was divided in the 1997 Hebron Accords which gave the Palestinian Authority jurisdiction over the modern side of the city and left Israel with the old city and Jewish neighborhoods. The Jewish residents are full-fledged tax-paying Israeli citizens, but as residents of Judea and Samaria they are technically under military rule. Real estate transactions and other daily municipal activities are ultimately governed by the Defense Ministry. This has enabled the IDF Civil Administration to evict Israeli tenants from buildings in Hebron when political controversies arise, such as the case with the Beit HaMachpela complex and the old wholesale market structures.
Yishai Fleisher, the international spokesperson for the Jewish community of Hebron spoke at a rally in Jerusalem regarding the issue days before the now cancelled target date.
He stated, "we are pro-sovereignty, but against any semblance of the idea of allowing another sovereign control in our land." He referred to Judea and Samaria as "the biblical mountains running through the heart of our country" and called for an end to the "narrative war."
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