Tekoa, Gush Etzion

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For other places with similar names, see Tekoa.
Trilingual road sign at entrance to Tekoa

Tekoa (Hebrew: תְּקוֹעַ) is an Israeli Jewish communal town and Israeli settlement in the northern Judean hills, located 20 km northeast of Hebron and 16km south of Jerusalem. Tekoa is within the municipal jurisdiction of the Gush Etzion Regional Council.[1] The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.[2] Situated in the immediate vicinity is the Arab village of Tuquʿ (Arabic: تقوع‎).

History[edit]

View of Tekoa from Herodion.

Antiquity[edit]

According to the Book of Samuel, Joab procured a "wise woman" from Tekoa to persuade David to bring Absalom back to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 14:2, 4, 9). The village was the birthplace of Ira, the son of Ikkesh, one of King David's warriors. Tekoa is renowned for being the birthplace of the Old Testament prophet Amos (Book of Amos 1:1).[3] The Bible states that the city was founded by Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the north and Calebites from Hebron in the south. It was a fortified city and served as an administrative center.[4]

The modern settlement was established in 1975 as a Nahal outpost. In 1977 it was handed over to civilian residents.[5] The settlement is located on the top of a hill among ruins of the site of Biblical Tekoa, 5 miles south of Bethlehem at the foot of Herodion ("Herod's Palace").

Geography[edit]

Tekoa is located 2,177 feet (670 meters) above sea level on a ridge surrounded on three sides by a deep canyon, Nahal Tekoa, that runs east to the Dead Sea.[6]

Demographics[edit]

Tekoa is populated by a mix of religious Zionists and secular Israelis. Many new immigrants from the former Soviet Union also live in Tekoa. The chief rabbi of Tekoa, Menachem Froman, maintained close ties with PLO and Hamas leaders.[7] Rabbi Froman taught at the local hesder yeshiva headed by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.[8] Froman died in 2013. The population is around 3,000.

Economy[edit]

In 1989, the Tekoa Agro-Technology Farm established in 1986 was named Enterprise of the Year by the Israeli Journal of Agricultural Settlements.[9]

Arab-Israeli conflict[edit]

In May 2001, two Israeli boys from Tekoa, Koby Mandell and Yosef Ishran, were murdered.

Later in September of that same year, Sarit Amrani (26) was shot dead in Tekoa when terrorists opened fire on her family's car. Her husband Shai was seriously injured, while their three children, Zohar (4), Ziv (2) and Raz (3 months), who were in the car at the time of the shooting survived physically unharmed.[10]

In February 2002, Aharon Gorov (46) and Avraham Fish (65) were killed in a shooting attack near Tekoa. Fish's daughter Tamar Lipschitz, who was nine months pregnant, was shot in the stomach. After being rushed to the hospital, she delivered a daughter through Caesarean section. Fish's granddaughter, Karine (4), suffered from shock. Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility.[11][12]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°39′10.86″N 35°13′44.52″E / 31.6530167°N 35.2290333°E / 31.6530167; 35.2290333