Budget for disabled access to Patriarchs Cave still not approved

Project has green light to proceed, but ministries have yet to apportion budget. Fears that Supreme Court could still halt it.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Simulation of disabled access to Cave of Patriarchs in Hebron
Simulation of disabled access to Cave of Patriarchs in Hebron
A. Studio/Kezes architecture

The engineering and construction department of the Defense Ministry has completed its preparation of the engineering blueprints for disabled access to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

According to the plans, a ramp will be built from the lower parking lot leading up to the plaza outside the building, and also an elevator and special access bridge leading right up to the entrance to the structure.

Last Thursday, the Civil Administration rejected a petition objecting to making the Cave of the Patriarchs disabled-friendly, giving the project a green light to go ahead, after years of delays.

The Defense Ministry is now negotiating with the Religious Affairs and Tourism Ministries in order to obtain budgeting for the project.

An official within the Defense Ministry told Arutz Sheva that once a budget is approved, a contractor will be chosen to head the project.

In response, the Betsalmo rights organization said in a statement that: “Unfortunately, once again the Ministry of Defense is delaying this project. The longer it takes to award a tender, the greater the chances that the Supreme Court will intervene and issue an interim injunction halting the project perhaps for years. We call on the Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, to step in and ensure that the project gets the final go-ahead today at the very latest, putting an end to this shameful saga. Everyone deserves to be able to access this holy site and exercise their freedom of religious worship. This is a humanitarian issue, not a political one.”



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