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Baruch Goldstein

Baruch Goldstein was a Brooklyn-born Jewish Fundamentalist who lived in Israel. He killed some 29 Muslims at Sabbath prayer on Friday, February 25, 1994, in the Cave of the Patriarchs, a Hebron site holy both to Muslims and Jews.

For years prior to the massacre, Goldstein had served as a physician in the Israeli army, first as a conscript, then in the reserve forces. Following the end of his active duty, he became a physician and lived as a settler in Kiryat Arba.

After being initially subdued with a fire extinguisher, Goldstein was beaten to death by survivors. Rioting immediately following the massacre led to the deaths of another 26 Palestinians and 2 Israelis.

Testimony at the Israeli inquiry raised the possibility Goldstein had an accomplice - two Israeli army guards testified that a second settler entered Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs on February 25 shortly after gunman Goldstein, and that when Goldstein went into the tomb he was armed with a different gun from the Galil assault rifle found by his body. The second settler was carrying a Galil, they said. This testimony was never confirmed.

Goldstein's actions were immediately condemned by the Israeli government, and the Israeli populace in general. Spokespeople in all of the organized denominations of Judaism denounced his act as immoral and as terrorism.

He has become a hero among some of Israel's right-wing extremists. Some extremists set up a tombstone for him which read "Here lies the saint, Dr. Baruch Kappel Goldstein, blessed be the memory of the righteous and holy man, may the Lord avenge his blood, who devoted his soul to the Jews, Jewish religion and Jewish land. His hands are innocent and his heart is pure. He was killed as a martyr of God on the 14th of Adar, Purim, in the year 5754." Members of the banned Kach organization, to which he belonged, glorify his mass murder. Most Israelis were repulsed by this action, and Israelis lobbied their representatives to take some action against this glorification of his actions. In 1998, a bill was passed in the Israeli Knesset that forbade the erection of monuments to terrorists; in 2000 a small shrine built around Goldstein's tomb was demolished. At the time it was also declared that a discussion of the wording above was pending.

Goldstein left behind a widow and 4 children.

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