Netanyahu: Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs will be part of Israel ‘forever’


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron will forever be a part of Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said hours after an Israeli man died of wounds sustained in an attack there.

“I say to all those who would uproot us from the Tomb of the Patriarchs, except for a few years in the previous century, we have been there for almost 4,000 years and we will stay there forever. You cannot defeat us,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Wednesday morning.

Genady Kofman, 41, a maintenance worker at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, died earlier Wednesday at a Jerusalem hospital, succumbing to injuries sustained on Dec. 7, when he was stabbed several times in the chest by a Palestinian assailant while waiting for a ride home in front of the site. Kofman, a husband and father of two, was a resident of the nearby Kiryat Arba settlement.

Israel Border Police shot and killed the attacker at the scene.

Jews and Muslims revere the Tomb of the Patriarchs as the gravesite of their forefathers. There is Jewish worship and a mosque there.

Hebron has been a hot spot of the current wave of Palestinian violence in Israel and the West Bank that began in October. Kofman is the 25th Israeli to be killed in that span.

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