Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in one of his most Jewish moments, decided to include the Cave of Machpelah in his national heritage plan.
For those not in the knowâ€¦the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron was the first piece of land purchased by a Jew â€“ Abraham from the Hittite inhabitants. And this is where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah are all buried.
During his reign, King Herod of Judea built a splendid yet humble fort around it. The architecture might seem eerily familiar to tourists traveling to Hebron from the Kotel in Jerusalem.
But on Monday about 100 Palestinians marched toward the Cave, hurling stones at security forces. One soldier was injured and received medical treatment there at the scene of the ugly riot.
Hebron Palestinians declared a general strike. Businesses and Palestinian Authority’s offices were closed, and protest rallies were held in the local schools.
The comprehensive plan to preserve heritage sites across the country entails an investment of some NIS 400 million (about $106 million). At the last minute, following pressing by right-wing lobbyists and ministers, Bibi added Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Cave in Hebron. The plan was unanimously approved.