Knesset to hold hearing after Gantz freezes Cave of the Patriarchs accessibility work

Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee demands answers after Arutz Sheva reports Gantz froze work to make holy site disabled accessible.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

הדמיית ההנגשה במערת המכפלה
הדמיית ההנגשה במערת המכפלה
צילום: א. סטודיו בשיתוף קזס אדריכלים

Following the publication on Arutz Sheva of a report that works to make the Cave of the Patriarchs disabled accessible have been frozen by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee headed by MK Orna Barbivai (Yesh Atid) will hold a special discussion on the issue and summon the Ministry of Defense to give clarifications.

It will be recalled that, although all the permits were obtained for the construction of the elevator in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Defense Minister Benny Gantz decided to freeze the works on accessibility to the Cave of the Patriarchs in light of the security situation with Gaza last month.

Following the publication, MK Barbibai turned to Minister Ganz for a detailed status, including a schedule for the start of renovation work in the Cave of the Patriarchs. Since the Defense Minister did not comment, she will hold a special discussion on the issue.

"The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is monitoring the progress of making the Cave of the Patriarchs accessible," the statement said. "In view of a number of inquiries received by the committee indicating delays in vital accessibility works, on 26/05 the chairman of the committee applied to the Ministry of Defense for a detailed status, including receipt of a plan and schedule for its implementation, until 01/06."

"Since no reference has been made by the Ministry of Defense up to this date and the issue extends far beyond what is required, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee intends to convene a discussion soon and summon the Ministry of Defense to clarify why this is so despite the willingness of all the parties involved to find a solution to make the Cave of the Patriarchs accessible, the issue has not been resolved," it was reported.

B'Tsalmo CEO Shai Glick said: "The time has come for accessibility. After the accessibility of the cave was approved and the budget was already given and the courts ruled that the accessibility of the Cave of the Patriarchs could not be delayed even for one day, it is very unfortunate that Defense Minister Benny Gantz is failing to carry out his promises on this a humanitarian project and freezes accessibility. We congratulate the chairwoman of the committee who has been involved in the matter for years and we are sure that a public discussion on the matter will expedite and oblige the Minister of Defense to make the place accessible. "



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