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      'Provide Funding to Rachel's Tomb as a Heritage Site'

      Chair of the Rachel's Tomb Heritage Fund calls on the government to restore security to Rachel’s Tomb by declaring it a heritage site.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 5/16/2012, 3:15 AM

      Rachel's Tomb
      Rachel's Tomb
      Yoni Kempinski

      Miriam Adani, Chair of the Rachel's Tomb Heritage Fund, called on the Israeli government on Tuesday to restore security to Rachel’s Tomb.

      Dozens of Arabs went on the rampage outside Rachel's Tomb on Tuesday, effectively besieging Jews inside the compound, who were told by security forces not to venture out.

      The compound was closed off to visitors several times during the day, due to massive rock throwing attacks.

      The compound was also closed to worshippers Monday afternoon after masked Arab rioters threw stones at the entrance of the holy site.

      Adani told Arutz Sheva that the Prime Minister refuses to recognize Rachel's Tomb as a heritage site and provide it with funding as such, something which she said would help solve the security problems.

      “I have, several times, approached the cabinet secretary and asked him to include Rachel's Tomb as a heritage site,” she said. “Unfortunately, today was not the first time that the tomb was cleared out because of security concerns. So far, all the answers we received from the government were that Rachel’s Tomb is not a heritage site.”

      Adani added, “The Prime Minister and Defense Minister travel all over the world and never come to Rachel's tomb. Now that the holiday of Shavuot is approaching, we call upon the government to provide funding to the site and give worshipers a sense of security. The solution should include the construction of a roof around the entire compound to prevent rock throwing. We also wish to expand the parking and improve the access roads.”

      Adani said that a wealthy hareidi man from Cleveland recently invested five million dollars in renovating the tomb.

      “A tycoon from Cleveland visited the tomb several years ago and saw the neglect,” she said. “He decided to renovate the place with an investment of five million dollars. He renovated the dome which was in danger of collapse, purchased new air conditioners and renovated the restrooms. It is a huge privilege but that does not absolve the Israeli government from its commitment to do what it must do.”

      The Prime Minister's Office told Arutz Sheva in response that last February a ministerial committee approved the addition of several projects to the heritage site program, including Rachel's Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs.

      The PMO added that in recent months Rachel's Tomb has been undergoing renovations for the benefit of the tens of thousands of visitors who come to the compound.

      While in the last year there has been relative calm in the area, within recent weeks several violent incidents have been reported, including pipe bombs thrown at Jewish worshippers. The attacks did not result in any casualties.