Tekoa, Gush Etzion
View of Herodium from Tekoa
Tekoa (Hebrew: תְּקוֹעַ) is an Israeli Jewish communal town and Israeli settlement in the northern Judaean Mountains, located 20 km northeast of Hebron and 16 km south of Jerusalem. Tekoa is within the municipal jurisdiction of the Gush Etzion Regional Council. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this. Situated in the immediate vicinity is the Palestinian village of Tuqu'.
Ephrathites from Bethlehem and the Calebites from Hebron founded Tekoa. It served as an administrative center and was fortified by Rehoboam King of Judah against invasion from the south. Tekoa was the birthplace of Ira son of Ikkesh, one of King David's Warriors, and of the Hebrew prophet Amos where he was a shepherd (Book of Amos 1:1). It was where Joab procured a "wise woman" to induce David to bring back Absalom to Jerusalem. Some residents of Tekoa took part in the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem after the return from the Babylonian captivity.
Tekoa was reestablished in 1975 as a Nahal outpost in the vicinity of the Arab village of Tuqu'. In 1977 it was handed over to civilian residents. The town is located 5 miles south of Bethlehem at the foot of Herodion ("Herod's Palace").
Archaeology and Landmarks
Ancient caves and caves that were dug in the karst chalk stone of the Nachal Tekoa or Wadi Khureitun, named after Chariton the Confessor, by monks from the Lavras of Saint Chariton and his successor Euthymius the Great, are right behind Tekoa.
Outside Tekoa various ruins were seen in the mid-19th-century. These included the walls of houses, cisterns, broken columns and heaps of building stones, some of which had “bevelled edges” which supposedly indicated Hebrew origin.
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. It has a mean annual rainfall of 410mm, an average annual temperature of 17 degree Celsius, and an average annual humidity of c. 60 percent.
The former chief rabbi of Tekoa, Menachem Froman z"l, a founding member of Gush Emunim, maintained close ties with PLO and Hamas leaders. Rabbi Froman taught at the local hesder yeshiva headed by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. One of Rabbi Fromans 10 children, his son Tzuri, lived in the desert canyon wadi behind the town, in a cave. Froman died in 2013.
In 1989, the Tekoa Agro-Technology Farm established in 1986 was named Enterprise of the Year by the Israeli Journal of Agricultural Settlements.
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.
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.
- Rabbi Menachem Froman, rabbi and peace activist
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Cite error: The named reference
- Tekoa geography
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- Tekoa Agro-Technology Ltd.
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- Sarit Amrani
- Avraham Fish
- Aharon Gorov
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