Settlers pray for Trump at Abraham’s tomb in Hebron by the Forward

Settlers pray for Trump at Abraham’s tomb in Hebron

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At the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, a group of Israeli settlers prayed for a Trump victory in the November 3 election in a service Monday.

Among the settlers was Marc Zell, the head of Republicans Overseas Israel.

“Hebron is the first capital of the Jewish people and the burial place of our founding fathers and mothers,” Zell said in an interview with Breitbart. “What better place is there to kind of, congregate and be thankful for all the wonderful things that Trump has done for us the past four years?”

President Trump has enjoyed broad popularity in Israel for many of his policies, such as moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and helping to broker normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

Both Jewish and Muslim traditions hold that the Cave of the Patriarchs contains the graves of the forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as the matriarchs, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah.

The city of Hebron and especially the area around the cave has been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Hebron, which is known to Palestinians in Arabic as Al-Khalil, is the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, with a population of over 200,000.

However, it is also the only Palestinian population center to contain a Jewish settlement within it, and some 800 Jews live in an area of the Old City surrounded by a heavy IDF presence, leading to frequent clashes.

The shrine around the cave itself was built by King Herod the Great in the first century B.C.E., and has at different periods throughout history been used as a synagogue, a church and a mosque.

It has been divided into separate Jewish and Muslim sections since 1994, when Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli-American and a settler, entered the site on Purim and opened fire on the Palestinians gathered there at prayer, killing 29 and wounding 125 others.

Several leaders of the settlement movement including Yochai Damri, the head of the Har Hebron Regional Council, also attended.

“The polls are very close, and we are meeting at the Cave of the Patriarchs to pray for his success,” Damri said. “We owe President Trump a debt of gratitude for his support of the State of Israel, the Land of Israel, and the settlements over the past four years,”

Author

David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein covers breaking news and international Jewish communities for the Forward. You can reach him at Klein@forward.com and on Twitter @davidianklein .

Settlers pray for Trump at Abraham’s tomb in Hebron

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Settlers pray for Trump at Abraham’s tomb in Hebron

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