Cave of the Patriarchs - accessible by Passover?

Blue and White leader promises: Cave of the Patriarchs to be made accessible by Passover.

Hezki Baruch ,

"סאגה שנמשכת שנים". מערת המכפלה
"סאגה שנמשכת שנים". מערת המכפלה
צילום: גרשון אלינסון, פלאש 90

Blue and White leader MK Gabi Ashkenazi, who is the new chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, promised to work to make the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me'arat Hamachpelah) handicap-accessible for both Jews and Arabs.

Ashkenazi has gone over the relevant material, including the updates received by the Committee from the Defense Ministry and Prime Minister's Office.

"Chairman Ashkenazi will adopt the deadline set by the Committee's outgoing chairman, Avi Dichter (Likud), who planned to have the Cave of the Patriarchs accessible by this coming Pesach (Passover)," the Committee said. "He believes the government can meet this [deadline]."

"Ashkenazi believes that the amount of time which has been given until now for negotiations with the Palestinians and for planning the process was too lengthy, and that the issue could have been resolved even earlier.

"The Chairman will continue to follow the progress on this issue, and will decide to hold a discussion in the Committee, whenever he believes it necessary."

The Cave of the Patriarchs has over 100 steps, making it inaccessible not only for those in wheelchairs.

Though both Jews and Arabs visit the Cave of the Patriarchs, Arab MKs, as well as the Palestinian Authority, have staunchly refused to cooperate.