The Israeli plan is moving forward despite “the objections of the Jordanian-based Islamic trust, which co-manages the site along with the Israeli rabbinate,” says Arutz 7.
By World Israel News Staff
Israeli authorities are “pushing ahead with plans to renovate part of the Cave of the Patriarchs complex in Hebron” to make it wheelchair-accessible, reports Arutz 7, saying that the Israeli plan is moving forward despite “the objections of the Jordanian-based Waqf, or Islamic trust, which co-manages the site along with the Israeli rabbinate.”
The burial places of three Jewish patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – and three Jewish matriarchs – Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah – are located there. According to tradition, Adam and Eve are also buried there.
Muslims view themselves as descending from Abraham’s older son, Ishmael.
Arutz 7 says that it has acquired documents that show the Israeli Defense Ministry’s plans for the renovations which would “include the addition of an elevator and bridge connecting the elevator to the tomb entrance.”
According to the website, “the Tourism Ministry is providing half a million shekels ($144,000) for the project, though the final cost has yet to be determined.” The Ministry for Social Equality is to cover the expenses for installing the elevator, according to the report.
It adds that “the local Jewish community has long backed the changes, making the site more accessible,” adding however that until now, “plans to renovate have been stymied by the Hevron municipality, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority.”
The Defense Ministry is “expected to expropriate the land around the complex from the Arab municipality of Hebron and the Waqf, which have thus far refused to permit the renovations,” according to Arutz 7.
The website adds that “in July, the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) sent a letter to the Hebron municipality demanding that it permit the renovation work, adding that if the municipality refuses, the Defense Ministry will expropriate the land and carry out the renovations unilaterally.”