PA plans to renovate the Cave of the Patriarchs

Head of PA government visits Hevron, announces $17 million development project.

Dalit Halevi ,

Cave of the Patriarchs
Cave of the Patriarchs
Gershon Ellinson/Flash 90

Rami Hamdallah, who heads the Palestinian Authority (PA) government in Ramallah, on Monday toured the city of Hevron and announced his intention to carry out development projects in the city at a cost of $17 million.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said the projects would include the renovation of the Cave of the Patriarchs, the paving of roads and the opening of an intensive care unit at the Hevron government hospital.

Hevron Mayor Tayseer Abu Sneineh, a convicted terrorist, asked the PA leader to support the residents of Hevron and to support the struggle against Israel's plan to unilaterally expand the H2 area, as he put it.

The PA claims ownership of the Cave of the Patriarchs. Last year, the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization decided that site and the surrounding Old City of Hevron would be declared Palestinian Authority heritage sites.

PA officials have accused Israel of trying to desecrate the Cave of the Patriarchs, taking issue with Israel placing a flag and a lamp in the area.