33 images Created 18 May 2009
REPORTAGE: Inside Hebron's Jewish Settlers
The West Bank city of Hebron has a Palestinian population of approximately 160,000. The Maarat HaMachpelah (Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriacrhes) in the city's historic center is the burial site of four biblical couple: Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah. Its is venerated by all three Abrahamic faiths. In the midst of the Palestinian majority, ninety Jewish settler families live in the old quarter around the tomb protected by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). They see themselves as the guardians of the site and have a profound conviction that a Jewish presence must remain in Hebron. In early November thousands of Jews come to Hebron for the Haye Sarah Shabbat when the story of Abraham's purchase of the burial cave and land in Hebron is read from the Torah. The Shabbat is highly symbolic as proof of Jewish rights to Hebron among the settler movement.