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Hesder Yeshiva in Otniel
Hesder Yeshiva in Otniel
Otniel is located in the West Bank
Coordinates: 31°26′23″N 35°01′44″E / 31.43972°N 35.02889°E / 31.43972; 35.02889Coordinates: 31°26′23″N 35°01′44″E / 31.43972°N 35.02889°E / 31.43972; 35.02889
Council Har Hebron
Region West Bank
Founded 1983
Name meaning Named for Othniel Ben Kenaz

Otniel (Hebrew: עָתְנִיאֵל) is a Jewish Orthodox Israeli settlement in the southern Judaean Mountains, south of Hebron in the West Bank. It is under the jurisdiction of the Har Hebron Regional Council. Approximately 130 families live in Otniel. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.[1]


Otniel, established in 1983, was named for the first biblical judge Othniel Ben Kenaz.[2] Otniel is south of Beit Hagai and north of Shim'a and the Palestinian village of as-Samu. Yeshivat Otniel, a hesder yeshiva, is jointly headed by Rabbi Binyamin Kalmanzon and Rabbi Re'em HaCohen. The yeshiva also has an overseas program that attracts students from Australia and the United States.

Arab-Israeli conflict[edit]

In December 2002, four students were killed and ten were wounded in a terrorist attack on the yeshiva.[3][4][5] In November 2011, an Otniel resident, Rabbi Dan Martzbach, was killed, and two women were wounded, when an Israel Defense Forces patrol, on alert for suspected terrorists, fired on their car as they drove to the Cave of the Patriarchs to pray in the early hours of the morning.[6]


External links[edit]