Worthy Christian News » Israel-Palestinian Conflict » Hebron Enjoys Calm and Bustling Start to Pessach
ICEJ NEWS - 04/11/2001
The normally tense mood in Hebron eased somewhat over the start of the Passover holidays, as thousands of Jews visited the small Israeli enclaves to celebrate the biblical feast and visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
In a vast show of support for local Jewish residents, thousands of visitors milled through the streets connecting the Israeli-controlled neighborhoods in the divided city, while others took the opportunity to pray in the Machpela Cave or to picnic on the adjoining plaza and enjoy live Hassidic music. Visitors also participated in guided tours conducted by Hebron Jewish Community representatives.
"It's good to see so many people walking in the streets," said Hebron Jewish community spokesman David Wilder. "We're very happy with the number of people... People said no one would show up. They told us not to bother wasting money on advertising," Wilder said.
The three-day festival drew a crowd of over 2,000 when it began on Monday, a number that had been surpassed by midday yesterday, Wilder said. The annual one-day festival had been spread out over three days because of the high demand for bulletproof buses.
Despite the festivities, recent bouts of violence in the area were not easily ignored. The usually substantial military and police presence in the city was bolstered by extra troops, while most Arab-owned shops were closed.
Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.