Israel's Defense Ministry on Wednesday confirmed Arutz Sheva's report that the process of making the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me'arat Hamachpelah) accessible was frozen, but added that within two weeks, Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) is expected to approve the construction.
In an email obtained by Arutz Sheva, Avi Roeh, and aide to the Defense Minister on issues pertaining to the settlements, wrote that he expects permits to make the Cave of the Patriarchs accessible to be granted "within the next two weeks."
"The plan to make it accessible has been waiting for a construction permit. Provision of the construction permit has been waiting for approval from the Minister. The approval has been delayed due to operational reasons," he explained.
The construction permit is the last step before the construction of an elevator at the site can begin.
Shai Glick, CEO of the B'tsalmo organization which is working to make the site accessible, said: "The Cave of the Patriarchs should have been made accessible a long time ago. At the same time, better late than never. We praise the commitment to sign a construction permit in the next two weeks, and we will ensure that immediately after it is signed, tractors will arrive at the site and there will be no additional delay."
"A contractor has already been chosen and has even received money," he emphasized, adding that "everyone has full rights to visit the gravesites of our fathers in an accessible and respectable fashion."
"We will continue to work for human rights, in every place and at all times."