MK Haskel blasts policy change banning MKs from entering part of Cave of the Patriarchs

MK Sharren Haskel says changes to immunity have led to ban on MKs, ministers, entering Hall of Isaac, demands return to status quo.

Hezki Baruch ,

MK Sharren Haskel with Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, at the Cave of the Patriarchs
MK Sharren Haskel with Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, at the Cave of the Patriarchs
Spokesperson

MK Sharren Haskel (Likud) on Thursday visited Hevron and the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me'arat Hamachpelah), as well as the Beit Hadassah Museum, the local market, and the Hezekiah Quarter, where the government recently approved the construction of 100 new housing units.

Joining Haskel on the trip was Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, head of the Committee of the Jewish Community of Hevron, and Noam Arnon, spokesperson for the community.

"For the past four years, since I entered the Knesset, I have made sure to visit Hevron every two or three months in order to help the settlement and bring groups of journalists, foreign diplomats, and the heads of organizations to the Cave of the Patriarchs, in order to demonstrate the issue of religious freedom in Israel, and especially in Hevron," Haskel said.

Haskel also complained about the fact that government ministers and MKs are not allowed to pray in the Hall of Isaac (Ulam Yitzhak) at the Cave of the Patriarchs.

"Until now the status quo has been that ministers and MKs are allowed to enter the Hall of Isaac with their entourage," she said. "I was never refused entry, every time I brought a group into the Hall of Isaac, where Jews are not allowed to pray, it is a very emotional moment for me, but it also makes me sad."

"Unfortunately, this is the third time in the past few months when I have been refused entry to the Hall of Isaac. This harms the principle of MKs' immunity and does great damage to one of the most important tools we MKs have to allow us to do our jobs. Any harm to the immunity of MKs must be justified and explained in depth, and we must not make light of its importance. I did not receive any explanation for why they harmed the immunity given me, and more than that, why they violated the status quo which has been in effect for years.

"I turn to IDF Central Command Commander Nadav Padan and Defense Minister Naftali [Bennett]: Take the responsibility to return the status quo to what it was and allow us, MKs and ministers, to enter the Hall of Isaac."

Sharren emphasized: "The Jewish settlement in Hevron is the clearest expression of our rights to our ancestral homeland. The Cave of the Patriarchs was the first Hebrew purchase in Israel, and in it are buried Israel's lineage."

"I am proud to support the settlers and happy to hear that soon there will be another 100 new housing units in the settlement. I was happy to receive an award from the Jewish community in Hevron and I will continue working towards its success and growth."

The Hall of Isaac is closed to Jews most of the year, and controlled by Muslims for all but ten days a year.



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