The expulsion of Jews from Hebron and Sharon’s health. Are they related?

Folks, while the world waits to hear about Ariel Sharon’s health, it must be pointed out that this week, on January 3, 2006, 11 Jewish families were going to receive expulsion orders to be removed from Hebron but the dozens of Yassam policemen and soldiers failed in their mission of distributing the orders.

The area in question was emptied of its Jews during the Hevron (also spelled Hebron) massacre of 1929, when Arab mobs slaughtered 67 Jews in their homes and synagogues.

Hevron is considered Judaism’s second-holiest city. It is home to the Machpelah Cave, in which are buried the Patriarchs and Matriarchs Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah.

For almost 400 years, until 1929, Jews lived on a large plot of land in Hevron, commonly known as the Jewish Quarter. In August of that year, however, Arab residents massacred their Jewish neighbors, cruelly murdering 67 Jews in their homes. The survivors were hurriedly evacuated from the area, thus putting an end to the Jewish presence in the holy city for nearly four decades. The Jewish property, including houses and synagogues, was abandoned and left uninhabited.

In 1953, Jordanian troops assisted Hevron’s Arab population in devastating the remains of the Jewish Quarter. The beautiful Avraham Avinu Synagogue was razed and turned into a goat sty, and apartment buildings were destroyed. Virtually nothing remained of the Quarter’s earlier splendor, and the Jordanians built an outdoor food market on part of the land. The market continued to operate even after the Jews returned with the IDF’s liberation of the city during the Six Day War in 1967.

Just over a decade ago, when Arab-initiated violence in Hevron was at one of its highs, the army decided to clear out the Arab store-owners in the marketplace. “The sole purpose for the closing,” Wilder wrote at the time, “was to provide security for the Jews in Hevron, [which had been] jeopardized by the hundreds of Arabs who frequented the market every day.” Then-IDF Chief of Staff Maj-Gen. Ehud Barak supported the decision.

Several years later, after 10-month-old Shalhevet Pass was shot to death by terrorists with a bullet to her head, Jews decided to renew their title to the land. They began renovating the stores, turning them into inhabitable apartments, and moving families in. Eleven families currently live here.

However, Arabs sued in Israel’s Supreme Court against what they called the “infiltration” of the Jews to the stores in the Hevron market, and in fact, in 2003, the State committed itself to evict the Jews.

Hevron spokesman Noam Arnon said at the time, “The Supreme Court recently decided that the land should be given to the Arabs, even though it is clearly Jewish land that was robbed from us… The Court simply ignored the fact that this is Jewish land.”

Perhaps in 2003, it was written that Sharon would fall ill when the day would arrive for Jews to be expelled from Hebron, so that they would not be expelled.

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