The Ma’aras HaMachpelah, Kever Shmuel HaNavi and Kever Rochel have officially been designated as “holy sites” according to Order 327 pertaining to the preservation and protection of sites in Yehuda and Shomron. While Israel liberated these area in 1967, the areas have never officially been acknowledged as holy sites.
Last week, at the initiative of the Civil Administration, the the official documentation was signed by Brigadier-General Ahvat Ben-Chur, the IDF commander of the areas, as well as by the head of the Civil Administration, Mr. Shaul Batish.
The new classification demands authorities protect and maintain the sites, prevent damage or unauthorized modification, guarantee free access to all religions, as well as regulating what is acceptable behavior at the sites. This should result in increased security and maintenance of the sites by the appropriate state agencies, as well as enforcement of regulations.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)