Terrorist Attack at the Cave of the Patriarchs


An Arab terrorist injured four people 7 March 2005,, in a shooting attack at Hebron's Tomb of the Biblical Patriarchs. Shortly before 9:00am, an Arab terrorist sprayed gunfire at Israelis at the entrance to the Machpela Cave, the tomb of the Biblical Patriarchs in Hebron. Four people were injured including a Border Guard. This is not the first time such an attack has been made by Arabs at a holy site in Israel.

The terrorist emerged from the crowded Hebron kasba market to perpetrate the attempted murder. Arab residents of Hebron have been put under strict curfew as security forces sweep the area for the attacker and possible accomplices. Military forces are still operating in the city at this time.

A policeman and former border guard patrolling the site responded by shooting at the attacker, forcing the possibly wounded terrorist to flee the scene. Hearing cries of "wounded," army medic and local resident, Yisrael Bromsohn, immediately ran to the site of the attack. Bromsohn administered emergency first aid to the critically wounded victim until additional medical personnel arrived.

Ariel Levy, who was at the tomb entrance during the attack, said, "I was with another person and we were just going into [the building] when we heard the automatic gunfire a few yards away. We quickly hit the ground."

According to Jewish tradition, the Machpela Cave is the burial site of four biblical couples: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah, and Adam and Eve. As such, it should be revered also by the Islamic, but we have seen they do not even respect their own mosques, using them for battlefields.

In addition to the morning attack at the Machpela Cave, security forces in Hebron arrested an Arab possessing a letter that declared his intention to carry out a suicide bombing. The would-be terrorist was captured after security forces received intelligence warnings of a suicide bomber in the Kiryat Arba area. The peace promised by the new PA leader has yet to materialize.

A Hebron spokesman said that Jewish community leaders in Hebron warned IDF Chief-of-Staff Moshe Ya'alon a month ago against the removal and consolidation of IDF positions in the vicinity of the Jewish holy site. At the time, Ya'alon responded that the move was made after directives from the political echelon and was not a security decision.

Shortly after the attack, Labor party Knesset Member Ephraim Sneh visited Hebron. Sneh was rightly greeted with jeers and resentment as residents vocally blamed him for distribution of weapons to Palestinian Authority Arabs in the Hebron region. Sneh, who recently wrote an editorial stating Jewish bloodshed in the evacuation of Gush Katif might be worthwhile, responded: "You want to kill me just like you killed Rabin." Although, at no time was Sneh threatened physically.

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