Hebron

Hebron

Hebron (/ˈhiːbrən, ˈhɛbrən/; Arabic: الخليل al-Khalīl, pronunciationⓘ or خَلِيل الرَّحْمَن Khalīl al-Raḥmān;[4] Hebrew: חֶבְרוֹן Ḥevrōn, pronunciationⓘ) is a Palestinian[5][6][7][8] city in the southern West Bank, 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judaean Mountains, it lies 930 metres (3,050 ft) above sea level. The second-largest city in the West Bank (after East Jerusalem),[9][10] and the third-largest in the Palestinian territories (after East Jerusalem and Gaza), it had a population of 201,063 Palestinians in 2017,[3] and seven hundred Jewish settlers concentrated on the outskirts of its Old City.[11] Since 1997, the city has been under the civil control of the Palestinian Authority, though the Israeli military maintains a presence in an area compromising of 20% of the city known as H2.[12] Hebron includes the Cave of the Patriarchs, which Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions all designate as the burial site of three key patriarchal/matriarchal couples.[11] The city is often considered one of the four holy cities in Judaism[13][14][15] as well as in Islam.[16][17][18][19] Hebron is considered one of the oldest cities in the Levant. According to the Bible, Abraham settled in Hebron and bought the Cave of the Patriarchs as a burial place for his wife Sarah. Biblical tradition holds that the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, along with their wives Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah, were buried in the cave. Hebron is also recognized in the Bible as the place where David was anointed king of Israel.[20] Following the Babylonian captivity, the Edomites settled in Hebron. During the first century BCE, Herod the Great built the wall which still surrounds the Cave of the Patriarchs, which later became a church, and then a mosque.[20] With the exception of a brief Crusader control, successive Muslim dynasties ruled Hebron from the 6th century CE until the Ottoman Empire's dissolution following World War I, when the city became part of British Mandatory Palestine.[20] A massacre in 1929 and the Arab uprising of 1936–39 led to the emigration of the Jewish community from Hebron.[20] The 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw the entire West Bank, including Hebron, occupied and annexed by Jordan, and since the 1967 Six-Day War, the city has been under Israeli military occupation. Following Israeli occupation, Jewish presence was reestablished at the city.[20] Since the 1997 Hebron Protocol, most of Hebron has been governed by the Palestinian National Authority.