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      Lieberman 'Defiled' Cave of Patriarchs, Claims Hamas

      Hamas condemns former Foreign Minister Lieberman's visit to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron, saying his visit "defiled" the compound.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 1/15/2013, 12:16 AM

      Lieberman at the Cave of the Patriarchs
      Lieberman at the Cave of the Patriarchs
      Flash 90

      The Hamas terror group on Monday condemned a visit by former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron, saying his visit "defiled" the compound.

      Earlier in the day, Lieberman, who was accompanied by IDF soldiers, held a visit to the compound

      In a statement it released, Hamas claimed the visit was "a brazen attack directed against Hevron, its residents, and the Islamic sites, especially the Cave of the Patriarchs."

      Israel, Hamas claimed in the statement, seeks to establish facts on the ground in the Cave of the Patriarchs using repeated "break-ins" and a deliberate "defiling" of the site so that it can erase the city of Hevron's Islamic characteristics.

      Hamas called on the Palestinian Authority public to work shoulder to shoulder to block the plans of the "Zionist occupation" that "aims to control and Judaize their land and the holy places of Islam."

      The Cave of the Patriarchs is one of several sites the PA claims are holy Islamic site and plans to have recognized by UNESCO as endangered World Heritage sites.

      Several months ago, the PA was able to get UNESCO to place the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on its list of sites of World Heritage in Danger.

      Claims by Arab officials that Israel is trying to "Judaize" holy Islamic sites are a normal occurrence. Last week, a PA official claimed that Israel is trying to "Judaize" the Temple Mount by building a new Holy Temple on the ruins of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.