Hebron’s Historic Hezekiah Quarter: A Testament to Jewish Resilience

The Jewish Community of Hebron is about to break ground on an ambitious construction project in the historic Hezekiah Quarter. After decades of planning, overcoming bureaucratic obstacles, and facing petitions from opponents, this project will see the development of 31 new housing units, kindergartens, public parks, and a dormitory.

This initiative has been in the making since receiving preliminary approval in 2017 and final approval from the Israeli Cabinet in 2018. It signifies the first significant Jewish construction in the H2 section of Hebron in 23 years.

Uri Karzen, director general of the Jewish community in Hebron, sees the construction project as much more than mere housing units. He views it as a symbol of the Jewish people’s historical effort to reclaim the area, which has changed hands through various governments over the past 200 years. Karzen emphasizes the significance of this project as “the essence of the Jewish people returning to Israel.”

The Hezekiah Quarter has a rich history, dating back to the 19th century when Haim Yisrael Romano, a Turkish Jewish merchant, purchased it. Over time, the area became a center for Jewish life and education, even as it changed hands between different authorities. Today, the quarter stands as a testament to the Jewish people’s unwavering connection to Hebron.

The construction project faced several legal challenges from the Palestinian Authority-run Hebron Municipality and Peace Now organization. However, in 2022, these petitions were rejected by Israel’s Supreme Court, paving the way for the project to commence.

Yishai Fleisher, the international spokesperson for the Jewish Community of Hebron, emphasizes the importance of this initiative: “The Jewish connection to Hebron is over 3,800 years old. The Hezekiah Quarter will house Jewish families who will grow and thrive in the city until such a time as Jewish rights in Hebron will be enshrined once again.”

This development is not only a significant milestone for the Jewish community in Hebron but also a symbol of Israel’s unwavering commitment to preserving and promoting its values and heritage. The State of Israel stands as a beacon of hope, resilience, and determination, exemplified by the Jewish people’s journey through history. With projects like the Hezekiah Quarter, Israel remains dedicated to building a brighter future for generations to come.