July 21, 2018

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22-Jun-18: At a sacred and ancient site, the bombs and attackers keep coming

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Violence at the ancient and sacred Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hevron is in today’s news – again (see “10-Feb-18: Two more Arab-on-Israeli stabbing attacks thwarted; both perpetrators are just 15” and “09-Feb-18: At the Tomb of Patriarchs, yet another thwarted Arab-on-Israeli stabbing attack” for some background.)
Here’s what we know till now:

Israeli Border Police on Friday [today] said that they found two explosive devices in a courtyard of a home not far from the Tomb of the Patriarch’s in the West Bank City of Hebron. Police bomb disposal experts were called to the scene where they successfully neutralized the explosives without incident or injuries and “prevented any further danger to the units or to civilians,” according to a police spokesman. The explosives were found in the courtyard of a home located next to one of the security check points where “security measures are implemented… Security measures continue in the area to prevent attacks of all kinds,” said police. [Israeli police diffuse two explosive devices near Tomb of Patriarchs in Hebron“, June 22, 2018, i24news.tv]

This happened three days earlier

An improvised explosive device was thrown at police guarding the entrance of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron Tuesday night, police said. The attacker fled the scene after throwing the bomb at border guards manning a station just outside the tomb. The device did not explode and there were no injuries. Police said they were searching the area for the perpetrator and had opened an investigation in the incident… In the area of the tomb, there is unique coexistence that the security forces, including border police, protect with the goal of allowing freedom of worship and religion to both Jews and Muslims at the Tomb of the Patriarchs,” police said in a statement after the incident. “The soldiers will continue to work with determination and professionalism to protect the security of all the citizens, residents and visitors to the site,” it said… [Bomb thrown at border police at Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, no injuries“, Times of Israel, June 20, 2018]

And eleven days ago

A bomb found near the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron was detonated by police on Sunday. Border police stationed outside of the ancient historic and religious site noticed the suspicious device and scrambled sappers to the area, clearing it of all civilians. The device, which included two small gas canisters, was blown up by the police bomb squad in a controlled explosion, near one of the entrances typically used by Muslims. Police launched an investigation, and issued a statement in which they promised to “protect the security of all the citizens, residents and visitors” to the Judea burial place of biblical forbears Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah.
According to local law enforcement, “in the area of the tomb, there is unique coexistence that the security forces, including border police, protect with the goal of allowing freedom of worship and religion to both Jews and Muslims at the Tomb of the Patriarchs.” [Bomb near Tomb of the Patriarchs detonated by police“, Jewish News Syndicate, June 11, 2018]

The Cave of Machpelah – part of the Tomb of the Patriarchs complex, is “the world’s most ancient Jewish site and the second holiest place for the Jewish people, after Temple Mount in JerusalemOver 300,000 people visit Ma’arat HaMachpelah annually. The structure is divided into three rooms: Ohel Avraham, Ohel Yitzhak, and Ohel Ya’akov. Presently Jews have no access to Ohel Yitzhak, the largest room, with the exception of 10 days a year.” [Jewish Virtual Library]

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