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Arabic: 'al-khalīl
Hebrew: hevron

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Hebron, Palestine. Photo: David Rubinger/Corbis.
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Hebron, Palestine. Photo: David Rubinger/Corbis.

Cave of Machpelah, Hebron, Palestine.
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Cave of Machpelah.

City in Palestine with about 110,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate).
Most of the inhabitants are Palestinian Arabs, but there is a group of 400 Jewish settlers living in the centre, as well as about 7,000 Jewish settlers in nearby Qiryat Arba. The economic base for Hebron is small scale industry producing cotton fabrics and clothes, leather products, and different forms of handicraft.
Hebron is a holy city both to Islam and Judaism, as it is believed that Abraham is buried there together with his wife Sarah, their son, Isaac, and grandson, Jacob, Isaac's wife, Rebecca, and Jacob's wife, Leah, in the Machpelah cave. Over this cave, the Ibrahimi Mosque now lies. The city of Hebron is famous for its charming narrow and winding streets, houses built from stone, and the lively markets.
Hebron is presently under joint control by Israeli and Palestinian forces, through which the Jews living in the city are protected by Israeli troops.

18th century BCE: Hebron is founded by the Hittites.
1000 BCE: The Jewish king, David, is anointed in Hebron, and makes the city his capital.
70's CE: The city is destroyed by the Romans.
635: Hebron is captured by the Muslims.
1100: Hebron comes under the control of the Crusaders.
1187: Hebron is captured, and held for a period, by the Kurdish general Saladin.
1260: The Crusaders lose their control over Hebron.
1267: Worship at the grave of Abraham is prohibited for non-Muslims.
1917 December: Hebron captured by British troops.
1923: Hebron becomes part of the British mandate of Palestine.
1929: After riots between Arabs and Jews, the Jewish community, numbering 700, flees Hebron.
1931: Return of 30 Jewish families to Hebron.
1936: Jews are moving from Hebron, during the Arab uprising, leaving the city with no Jewish community.
1950: Hebron is annexed, together with the rest of the West Bank by Jordan as a result of the First Palestinian War.
1967: As a result of the Six-Day War, Hebron comes under Israeli control.
1971: A Jewish settlement, Qiryat Arba, is established east of Hebron.
1979: Jewish families move into the Hebron centre.
1994 February 25: Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein, shoots 29 Palestinians while they perform their prayers in the Ibrahimi Mosque.
1997 June: Riots in Hebron continue for days, during which Israeli soldiers use rubber bullets against youth throwing stones, bottles, and molotov cocktails against the Jewish settlers in Hebron centre.
June 29: Posters presenting Muhammad as a pig, writing the Koran by his own hand, are hung up around the city, most possibly by Jewish settlers. Reactions are strong from the Palestinians, as well as from official Israel. Some groups call for violent retaliation, but most for peaceful protests.
July 1: 35 Palestinians and 1 Israeli soldier are injured, after Palestinian protests.
July 2: One boy is killed by Israeli troops while participating in a demonstration.
July 4: Hebron is seized by Israeli troops, in an attempt to get control over the unrest.
— A fragile stability is reestablished in Hebron, where the UN-led TPIH (Temporary International Presence in Hebron) controls the situation between Israelis and Palestinians.

By Tore Kjeilen