Tel Rumeida

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Excavations at Tel Rumeida

Tel Rumeida (Hebrew: תל רומיידה‎) is an archaeological tell in the West Bank believed to be the location of biblical Hebron.[1] It is also the location of an Israeli settlement.[2]


The occupational sequence at Tell Rumeida is very similar to Jerusalem. During the Early Bronze III and Middle Bronze II periods, there was a fortified city at the site. No Late Bronze Age, Iron Age I or IIA cities have been found there. Above the EBIII and MBII fortified city are 8th-century BC four room houses. Fragments of jars and burnished vessels may suggest that there was a small-scale occupation.[3]

Prior to the Second Intifada, the Palestinian Abu Haikal family farmed their land in this area. As violence increased, however, the Israeli military interfered with & ultimately banned the family from farming.[4]


According to Ehud Sprinzak, an Israeli counterterrorism specialist and expert in far-right Jewish groups,[5]"a small number of very radical Jewish families" settled in the area in the mid-1980s.[6] Settlers purposefully provoke Palestinian residents. Palestinians cannot adequately defend themselves, because the settlement is defended by an entire company of the Israeli Defense Force.[7]

Tel Rumeida stands in close proximity to the Cave of the Patriarchs. On 25 February 1994, Baruch Goldstein, an American-Israeli physician & religious extremist who belonged to both the Jewish Defense League & the Kach party of Rabbi Meyer Kahane, entered the Cave of the Patriarchs portion reserved for the Ibrahimi Mosque with an assault rifle & opened fire on Muslims at prayer, killing 29 people & wounding 125.[8]Survivors gained control & beat Goldstein to death.

Under Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli government proposed closing down the illegal settlement at Tel Rumieda after the massacre. Far-right Rabbis moved to block evacuation of the settlements by issuing an Halakhic ruling to prevent the government from taking action. The collective influence of the settlers & their Rabbis persuaded Prime Minister Rabin to back down.[7]

In 2005, violence against Palestinians in Hebron most frequently originated with the illegal settlement at Tel Rumieda. The amount of documented harassment of the Abu Haikel family alone was enough to fill a book.[9] A Palestinian resident who refused lucrative offers for her home, has stated that settlers have used home-made napalm to poison their fields, continually burn their cars, and destroy their agricultural tools.[10]

The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.[11]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Dumper; Bruce Stanley (2006). Cities of The Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 167. ISBN 978-1576079195. 
  2. ^ Karin Aggestam (2005). "4. TIPH: Preventing Conflict Escalation in Hebron?". In Clive Jones, Ami Pedahzur. Between Terrorism and Civil War: The Al-Aqsa Intifada. Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 0415348242. 
  3. ^ Herzog, Ze'ev; Singer-Avitz, Lily (September 2004). "Redefining the Centre: The Emergence of State in Judah". Tel Aviv: Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University (Maney Publishing) 31 (2): 219–220. 
  4. ^ "War & Irony In Hebron Hilltops". Electronic Intifada. 15 March 2007. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Ehud Sprinzak, 62; Studied Israel Far Right". The New York Times. 12 November 2002. 
  6. ^ Ehud Sprinzak (2000). "3. Israel's Radical Right and the Countdown to the Rabin Assassination". The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Stanford University Press. p. 104. ISBN 978-0804738378. 
  7. ^ a b Ehud Sprinzak, 'Israel's Radical Right and the Countdown to Rabin's Assassination,' in Yoram Peri (ed.), The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Stanford University Press 2000 pp.104-.
  8. ^ Hedges, Chris (1994-03-16). "That Day in Hebron -- A special report.; Soldier Fired at Crowd, Survivors of Massacre Say". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  9. ^ Kathleen Kern, 'As Resident Aliens: Christian Peacemaker Teams in the West Bank, 1995-2005,' Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2010 pp.25f.n.18, pp.247-8
  10. ^ Michael McRay, Letters from "Apartheid Street": A Christian Peacemaker in Occupied Palestine, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013 p.26.
  11. ^ "The Geneva Convention". BBC News. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 

Coordinates: 31°31′26″N 35°06′14″E / 31.524°N 35.104°E / 31.524; 35.104