|• Hebrew||קִרְיַת ־אַרְבַּע|
|• ISO 259||Qiryat ʔarbaˁ|
|• Also spelled||Qiryat Arba (official)|
|• Arabic||قرية أربع|
|District||Judea and Samaria Area|
|• Type||Local council|
|• Total||4,386 dunams (4.386 km2 or 1.693 sq mi)|
|Name meaning||Town of the Four [Giants]|
Kiryat Arba or Qiryat Arba (קִרְיַת־אַרְבַּע), lit. "Town of the Four," is an urban Israeli settlement on the outskirts of Hebron, in the Judean Mountains region of the West Bank. In 2012, Kiryat Arba had a population of 7,593.
Kiryat Arba is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. The Book of Joshua chapter 14 verse 15 says (Darby_Bible): "Now the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-Arba; the great man among the Anakim..." There are various explanations for the name, not mutually exclusive. According to the great Biblical commentator Rashi, Kiryat Arba ("Town of Arba") means either the town (kirya) of Arba, the giant who had three sons, or the town of the four giants: Anak (the son of Arba) and his three sons - Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmi - who are described as being the sons of a "giant" in Numbers 13:22: "On the way through the Negev, they (Joshua and Caleb) came to Hebron where [they saw] Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmi, descendants of the Giant (ha-anak)..." Some say that Anak ("Giant", see Anak) is a proper name (Targum Jonathan and the Septuagint), and that he, Anak, may have been the father of the three others mentioned in the Book of Numbers as living in Hebron, previously known as "Kiryat Arba."
Hebron is one of the earliest towns mentioned in history, and is the first Jewish settlement. According to the Bible (Numbers 13:23) it was founded seven years before Zoan or Tanis, the most ancient town in Lower Egypt, which means that it existed from the first half of the third millennium B.C. Josephus (Bel. Jud., IV, ix, 7) says that in his time the town was already 2300 years old. It was originally called Kiriat Arba, or Kiriat- ha-Arba (D. V. Cariath-Arbe, Genesis 23:2, 35:27; Joshua 14:15, 15:13, 15:54, 20:7, 21:11; Judges 1:10; Nehemiah 11:25) from the name of Arba, “the greatest among the Enacims” (Joshua 14:15).
In 1968, a group of Jews led by Rabbi Moshe Levinger and Rabbi Eliezer Waldman founded Kiryat Arba on the eastern outskirts of Hebron. Jewish settlement around Hebron was claimed to be justified in light of the 1929 Hebron massacre and the continued presence of Jews in the area until then. Building began on an abandoned military base in 1970, and residents moved in 1971. The town is a self-sufficient community, with pre-nursery through post-secondary educational institutions, medical facilities, shopping centers, a bank and a post office. Kiryat Arba attained local council status in 1979. While Kiryat Arba is located within the territory of the Har Hebron Regional Council, it is an independent local council. 
Israeli settlers living at Kiryat Arba have been subjected to multiple attacks by Palestinians. Between 1981 and 1986, four people from Kiryat Arba were shot and wounded in the Hebron marketplace. In 1994, a 17-year old girl from Kiryat Arba was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting. In March 2003, a man was shot in his home. Two months later, a married couple was killed in their home. On November 26, 2009, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded two Israelis at a Kiryat Arba gas station. The Palestinian was then shot dead by an Israeli soldier. On August 31, 2010, four residents, including a pregnant woman, were shot to death in their car by Hamas militants outside Kiryat Arba. The Palestinian Authority arrested the perpetrators, but promptly released them after Hamas accused it of treason. On October 8, 2010, Israeli troops killed two of the perpetrators and arrested six during a raid in Hebron. In October 2011, a Palestinian stoning attack near Kiryat Arba caused the car of a resident to overturn, killing him and his infant son. The man's handgun and wallet were then stolen. Following an investigation by Shin Bet, the IDF and police, two Palestinians from Halhul were arrested for throwing the stones that caused the car to overturn, and three others were arrested for stealing the gun.
Status under international law
Like all Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories, Kiryat Arba is considered illegal under international law, though Israeli disputes this. The international community considers Israeli settlements to violate the Fourth Geneva Convention's prohibition on the transfer of an occupying power's civilian population into occupied territory. Israel disputes that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the Palestinian territories as they had not been legally held by a sovereign prior to Israel taking control of them. This view has been rejected by the International Court of Justice and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Kiryat Arba has four neighborhoods: the Kirya, Ashmoret Yitzhak, Ramat Mamre (also known as Givat Harsina) and Givat Avot, near the entrance of Hebron.
Kahane Park is named for Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of Kach, a far right political party that is banned and considered a terrorist organization in Israel. Meir Kahane was assassinated in the United States by an Arab gunman. The grave of Baruch Goldstein, who perpetrated the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre, is across the street from the park. According to a BBC news report in 2000, a group of 40 Jews held a Purim costume party at the site.
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