Hebron is a Palestinian city with a long history since the Bronze Age. Its Arabic name is Al-Halil, means “a friend of the God”.
Its Population is over 200,000 (in 2016), it becomes over 500,000 with its surrounding area. Hebron is the second biggest city in West Bank after East Jerusalem.
Hebron is the economic center of West Bank, also is famous for the production of glasses & pottery and quarry industry.
Because there is Abraham mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) believed the tomb of Abraham and his family, Hebron is a holy place for three Abrahamic religions.
After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel “released” Hebron. Their settlement activity and control still remain.
Hebron has a different atmosphere from other Palestinian cities because we can see Israeli soldiers in the town (especially in the old city).
According to the Hebron Protocol in 1997, Israeli military forces are redeploying to H2 area (20% of the city). However, violence or threats to Palestinians and journalists are still rampant.
Despite those difficulties, Hebron people are strong. They are always welcome foreign travelers.
Hebron is the place worth to visit also by a local tour.
History of Hebron
c. 18th century BC
Hebron was already existing as a Canaanite city.
c. 6th century BC
Hebron became a settlement of Edom.
c. 1st century BC
Herod the Great built an enclosure over the Cave of the Patriarchs.
In this period, Hebron became an important trade town with the east side of the Jordan river.
During Byzantine Christian Period, a simple basilica was constructed.
Palestine was conquered by Arab Muslims. The building was reconstructed as a mosque.
The Christian Crusade caught Palestine. They renamed Hebron “Castellion Saint Abraham”.
During this period, the bones of Abraham or Issac were discovered in the caves.
Saladin, a sultan of Egypt, retook Palestine. The name of the city was changed back to Hebron.
13th – 14th century
Christians and Jews were gradually alienated. Hebron became a Muslim town.
late 18th century to early 19th century
Hebron became famous for its glass industry, also became an important hub for trade with Egypt.
late 19th century to early 20 century
Zionism gained momentum.
Once the Jews came and immigrate to Palestine, riots occurred between them and Palestinians. After 1929 Arab riots, the US troops brought the Jewish communities to outside of the town.
Israel was founded after the World War II.
A tide of Palestinian refugees came to the southern cities such as Hebron.
Israel won the Six-Day War (the Third Arab–Israeli War). Hebron fell under the control of Israel. Subsequently, Israeli settlements have been constructed.