Jewish residents of Hevron protested Wednesday morning against the construction of a security barrier in their area of the city, calling on security forces to aggressively fight terrorism instead of pursuing an approach of defensive seclusion and withdrawal.
The barrier is being constructed to protect Jewish residents from Arab stone throwers, a potentially-fatal terrorist activity which has increased in recent months.
Noam Arnon, a spokesperson for the community, explained "if we were to agree to the suggestions of defense that were made in the past, we would be in a tiny ghetto today and access to Hevron would be extremely limited. We therefore oppose the barrier completely and demand to live in true security in the city of the patriarchs."
Despite the threats of Arab terrorism and extreme leftist groups that stage regular provocations and sometimes actively promote terror, the city that the Jewish patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived and were buried in is visited by many Jews.
Just in late October thousands of Jews came to Hevron for the annual "Shabbat Chayei Sarah" pilgrimage.
In a letter to brigade commander of Hevron Colonel Avi Balut local residents explained their protest:
We, residents of the Jewish community of Hevron, greatly respect and value the activities of the IDF and the security forces in ensuring our security and the security of Jews visiting Hevron, the city of the patriarchs.
However, precisely out of concern for the security of the soldiers and the honor of the IDF, as well as the security of the residents, we firmly protest against the phenomenon of repeated rock throwing attacks and harassment against Jews in the city of the patriarchs.
Unfortunately the IDF is not dealing with the terrorists that throw stones with proper decisiveness.
We call on the army to eradicate these terror organizations and to deal with them with a hard hand.
From a place of faith in the return of the people of Israel to their land and the rise of the Israeli government, we believe in the strength of our army and its commanders in dealing with the root of the problem firmly and effectively.
We regard the construction of a barrier on the police roadblock posts instead of a total war against terrorists to be a serious mistake.
We oppose implementation of a defensive and submissive approach instead of striving with and eliminating the serious and dangerous phenomenon of rock throwing. As those with experience we know that barriers and defense invites terror victims to our home.
The Jewish people has the right to live in Hevron without fear of enemy or foe.
We call on the IDF to regain its composure and to send a clear message that the Jewish people will be a free nation in our land and in our city.