Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Cave of the Patriarchs

The Cave of the Patriarchs, known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi mosque, is in the West Bank city of Hebron. Entombed within are the Jewish patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) as well as three matriarchs (Sarah, Rebeccah, and Leah). Their graves are made inaccessable by the cenotaphs that cover them. The cave is the second holiest site in Judaism (after the Temple Mount) and holds considerable theological significance to Islam as well.


In 1994, militant Jewish fundamentalist Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Palestinians at the site. Jews praying there have also been subject to numerous attacks, the most prominent among them being the 1929 Hebron Massacre, a pogrom in which Arab rioters killed 67 Jews throughout the city. The Wye River Accords provided a temporary status agreement for the site and Hebron itself.

Current Situation

Since the eruption of the recent Intifada, the site has been the subject of many attacks, directed towards Jews in prayer. Subsequently the IDF has surrounded the site with soldiers and forbidden Palestinians from entering the area.