Al-Khalīl or Hebron in the West Bank

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Hebron Market © flickr.com - amillionwaystobe/cc-by-2.0

Hebron Market © flickr.com – amillionwaystobe/cc-by-2.0

Hebron is a Palestinian city located in the southern West Bank, 30 km (19 mi) south of Jerusalem. It lies 930 meters (3,050 ft) above sea level. The largest city in the West Bank, and the second largest in the Palestine after Gaza, it has a population of 216,000 Palestinians, and between 500 and 850 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter. Muslims, Jews, and Christians all venerate the city of Hebron for its association with Abraham – it includes the traditional burial site of the biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Judaism ranks Hebron as the second-holiest city after Jerusalem, while Islam regards it as one of the four holy cities.

Hebron is a busy hub of West Bank trade, generating roughly a third of the area’s gross domestic product, largely due to the sale of marble from quarries. It has a local reputation for its grapes, figs, limestone, pottery workshops and glassblowing factories, and is the location of the major dairy-product manufacturer, al-Juneidi. The old city of Hebron features narrow, winding streets, flat-roofed stone houses, and old bazaars. The city is home to Hebron University and to the Palestine Polytechnic University. Hebron is attached to cities of ad-Dhahiriya, Dura, Yatta, the surrounding villages with no borders. Hebron Governorate is the largest Palestinian governorate, with a population of 610,000.

Hebron Market © flickr.com - young shanahan/cc-by-2.0 Hebron University © flickr.com - PalFest/cc-by-2.0 © eman Ibrahimi Mosque © Hwilde Hebron Market © flickr.com - amillionwaystobe/cc-by-2.0 © CarlSerafino/cc-by-sa-4.0 Israeli soldiers on Palestinian street © flickr.com - Justin McIntosh/cc-by-2.0
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Israeli soldiers on Palestinian street © flickr.com - Justin McIntosh/cc-by-2.0
Due to an urgent request of the Palestinians, the Old Town of Hebron was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on 7 July 2017, and at the same time, was put on in the List of World Heritage in Danger. It’s the third Palestinian World Heritage Site. Hebron is one of the few cities to have preserved its Mamluk architecture. Many structures were built during the period, especially Sufi zawiyas. Mosques from the era include the Sheikh Ali al-Bakka and Al-Jawali mosque. The early Ottoman Abraham Avinu Synagogue in the city’s historic Jewish quarter was built in 1540 and restored in 1738.

The most famous historic site in Hebron is the Ibrahimi Mosque. The Herodian era structure is said to enclose the tombs of the biblical Patriarchs and Matriarchs. The Isaac Hall now serves as the Ibrahimi mosque, while the Abraham and Jacob Hall serve as a synagogue. The tombs of other biblical figures (Abner ben Ner, Otniel ben Kenaz, Ruth and Jesse) are also located in the city. The Oak of Sibta is an ancient tree which, in non-Jewish tradition, is said to mark the place where Abraham pitched his tent. The Russian Orthodox Church owns the site and the nearby Abraham’s Oak Holy Trinity Monastery, consecrated in 1925.

Read more on City of Hebron, unesco.org – Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town, Israel Hayom, 27 August 2019: The right of return, Jerusalem Post, 1 December 2019: Naftali Bennett approves new Jewish neighborhood in Hebron (the infinite story of illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine goes on and on and on), Times of Israel, 1 December 2019: Defense minister green-lights new Jewish neighborhood in Hebron, Arab News, 1 December 2019: Israel planning new settlement in heart of Hebron, Haaretz, 3 December 2019: For Hebron Settlers, New Neighborhood Announced by Israel Is Only the Beginning, Haaretz, 8 December 2019: Israel Threatens Hebron Municipality: Consent to New Jewish Neighborhood, or Lose Property Rights, Times of Israel, 9 December 2019: Hebron Palestinians go on strike, clash with troops to protest settlement plan, Wikivoyage Hebron and Wikipedia Hebron (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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