The civil authorities in the West Bank town of Hebron this week ordered the chairman of the local council of nearby Kiryat Arba to dismantle a memorial to Dr. Baruch Goldstein, the American-born settler who killed 29 Muslims worshiping at a Hebron mosque earlier this year.
Reacting to the order to destroy the concrete and stone structure being built at Goldstein’s grave, Zvi Katzover, the leader of the Kiryat Arba council, said the memorial was a local matter in which the Israeli government could not interfere.
“The memorial to Goldstein, a man respected by many, will be built whether the government likes it or not,” Katzover said.
Members of the Goldstein family, along with sympathizers from the militantly anti-Arab Kach movement, have been working for weeks to prepare the area around the grave of the man they regard as a saint for having murdered Arabs.
After carrying out the Hebron massacre in February, Goldstein was beaten to death by a number of Muslim worshipers who had survived his assault.
Residents of Kiryat Arba plan to erect around Goldstein’s grave a concrete platform with benches to serve as a meeting place for those making pilgrimages to the gravesite.
Kach activists said today they would post a guard around the grave to prevent anyone from attempting to demolish the memorial.