JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter of support to the Jewish community living in the West Bank city of Hebron.
The letter sent Tuesday came a day before Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
It was sent in advance of the Shabbat in which Jews around the world read the weekly Torah portion of Chayei Sarah, in which Abraham buys the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron as a burial place for his wife.
About 500 Jews live among 170,000 Palestinians in Hebron.
“Our deep connection to Hebron, in permanent and temporary settlement, in the journeys of pilgrims and the longing of worshipers, never stopped and never ceased,” Netanyahu wrote in his letter.
“The resumption of Jewish settlement in Hebron after the Six-Day War forged another link in the chain stretching across generations. The adherence of the sons in the ‘city of the fathers’ withstood the test of exile, and proof of this is the renewed and blossoming settlement in Hebron.”
The Cave of the Patriarch was included recently in a list of Israel’s national heritage sites, Netanyahu noted.
In recent years, thousands of Jews have converged on Hebron for the Chayei Sarah Shabbat.