Hebron (Hevron) – one of the four holy cities for the Jews, in addition to Jerusalem, Safed and Tiberias. It is believed that the Jewish population lived continuously on its territory for about three thousand years until the pogrom in 1929. This ancient city, repeatedly mentioned in the Bible, was once the center of the historical region of Judea. Today, this one is still one of the largest settlements in the Judean mountains, divided into two independent sectors. Check bridgat for other cities and countries as well as climate and weather in Middle East.
One sector (H1) is inhabited by Arabs, the other (H2) is inhabited by a few Israelis, including about 800 Jews, and 30,000 Palestinians. Constant hostilities between the sectors force the local Jews to live under the protection of the army. Deserted streets, barred windows, destroyed buildings – all these are traces of an ongoing war. The first thing travelers who decide to travel to Hebron from any Israeli city will have to face are checkpoints where absolutely everyone entering and leaving is screened. With an Israeli passport, it is impossible to get into the Arab part, sector H1, but holders of any other passports can easily go through the Israeli checkpoint. The reason for this tight control is understandable: too often, Israeli trips end badly.
You should not take pictures of checkpoints, soldiers, police, as well as any buildings and people related to the protection of the territory. At best, the picture will be erased if it is a digital camera, or the film will be destroyed.
What attracts many tourists to the area where hostilities are constantly taking place? First of all, religious shrines: the Holy Trinity Monastery and the Oak of Mamre, under which three angels appeared to Abraham of the Old Testament.
How to get there
The most convenient way to get to Hebron is by bus from Jerusalem, which departs from the Central Bus Station. Travel time by bus number 160 is just over an hour. Transport runs regularly, from early morning to late evening, the intervals between flights are from 40 minutes to 1.5 hours.
When buying a ticket, you need to be careful not to go on a trip to the northwestern settlement of Kiryat Arba, which is located next to Hebron and is actually its continuation.
From many other cities, for example from Tel Aviv, you will have to get to Hebron with transfers.
The bus stop is located near the main local attraction – the cave of Machpelah, the burial place of biblical saints, and one of the checkpoints.
Entertainment and attractions in Hebron
Machpelah Cave, or Double Cave, also called the Cave of the Patriarchs, is the burial place of Saints Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives Sarah, Rebekah and Leah. This religious attraction is considered a shrine in three world religions at once – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The cave is located under a building built on top, the territory of which is divided into two parts – Muslim and Jewish – and is guarded by representatives of two armies at once. Each of the communities prays strictly within its own part, and it is forbidden to enter someone else’s territory, with the exception of major religious holidays, when it is still allowed to visit other halls.
For believing Jews, the Cave of Machpelah is the second holiest religious shrine, after the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The Monastery of the Holy Trinity is located in the Arab part of the city. In the 19th century, the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission bought a piece of land with the Mamvrian oak and built a monastery on the territory around it. The age of the oak is about 5000 years, and it is believed that it was he who witnessed the Old Testament story of how three angels appeared to Abraham. Until the 90s of the 20th century, the oak was covered with foliage, but today it is almost completely dry. Numerous people wishing to join the biblical story contributed to the destruction of the tree: the bark of the tree among believers is considered a shrine.