TEL AVIV (Apr. 17)
Seventy Jews, mostly from religious settlements, returned to the ancient town of Hebron today to re-establish the Jewish community which ceased to exist there after the Arab riots of 1936. The new arrivals were greeted by Labor Minister Yigal Allon who promised them assistance for a transitory period until they can integrate themselves into the town’s economy. Members of the group, which includes artisans, professionals and yeshiva students, said they hoped to rebuild the Jewish section of Hebron.
The town, which lies almost due south of Jerusalem, was occupied by Jordan during the 1948 war and was recaptured by Israeli forces during last June’s Six-Day War. To religious Jews, it is one of the four holy cities of Israel. Nearby is the Cave of Machpela, the burial place of the Hebrew Patriarchs. Jews have lived there for centuries. But the Jewish community was attacked by Arabs in 1925 and again in 1929 when a rabbi and a number of yeshiva students were massacred. The last Jews left in 1936 to avoid a similar massacre.