On June 30, 2016, 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel was killed in her sleep in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba by a Palestinian teenager from a neighboring village.
Kiryat Arba is adjacent to Hevron. I visited Hevron in 2012, and it was a terrible, terrible situation of a small Jewish settlement heavily guarded by the IDF, isolated in the middle of otherwise total Palestinian territory.
Hevron is home to the Tomb/Cave of the Patriarchs, an irreplaceable, immovable sacred place for Jews and Muslims believed to hold the graves of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah. The tomb is split between days when Jews can visit and days when Muslims can visit.
Kiryat Arba literally means “Town of the Four.” It is mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 23, that when Sarah died in Kiryat Arba, Abraham negotiated to buy the land and cave of Machpelah from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site for Sarah.
Today, the land is a terrible scene of razor wire and houses caged in by metal fences surrounding a shared tomb that should be a source of love and peace.
This situation is awful, but this act of terror is unthinkable. There is no excuse or justification for murder and terror. Ever.
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