A delegation of 18 parliamentarians from around the world visited Hevron today, alongside the thousands of other visitors who came to the city's holy sites over the Intermediate Days of Sukkot.
The MPs, all members of their local Israel Allies Caucuses, visited the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the Hevron Museum in Hadassah house and the Tel Rumeida lookout point.
This tour was the first of its kind. Never before have so many parliamentarians from around the world come to Hevron.
They came to show their support for the residents of Hevron and to experience the holy sites.
The MPs came to Israel to participate in the 5th annual Israel Allies Foundation Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference at the Mamilla Hotel in Jerusalem, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Israel's capital.
During the conference the MPs agreed to work towards the passing of resolutions recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel in their home countries. This is the first international response to the recent UNESCO vote denying any link between the Jewish people and Jerusalem.
Saeb Erkat condemned the visit of the MPs to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and Hevron. He attempted to pressure the governments of the countries the MPs came from to prevent the MPs from coming to the conference. South African MP Kenneth Meshoe received explicit threats but still came to Israel.
Among the prominent MPs who came to the conference were Italian Senator Lucio Malan, who passed a bill prohibiting Holocaust denial, Dutch MP Kees van der Staaij,who passed a bill banning funding for BDS, and MEP Bas Belder, the head of the Israel Allies Caucus in the European Parliament.
MPs also came from Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Greece, Portugal, Brazil, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Chile, and Malawi.
South African MP Kenneth Meshoe said "I stand here today in a place that has been called 'Judea' for more than 3,000 years. To say that the Jews are occupiers in Judea is no less absurd than to say that the Arabs are occupiers in the Arab countries."
The director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, Josh Reinstein, said that "It was important to bring the delegation of MPs to Hevron, the city of our ancestors, especially in light of the UNESCO vote. Here you can clearly see the connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel."