For decades, Hebron, in the Palestinian territories—Al Khalil to Arabs—has been a very volatile place, and it remains so today. It is located 20 mi/32 km southwest of Jerusalem.
The city's main attraction, and also the source of much discord, is Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs (also known as the Cave of Machpelah). Jews revere the site as the burial place of patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their wives; Muslims make pilgrimages to the mosque that was built over the burial cave in the 1100s.
Today, Hebron is divided into an Israel section and Palestinian-controlled neighborhoods. Jewish settlers live in the center and in nearby Kiryat Arba, a tense situation that has been a flashpoint for violence.
Visits to the Cave of Machpelah are possible to arrange from Israel. If you are able to visit the Palestinian side, see the famous glass factories, where you can watch blowers creating the distinctive royal-blue glass synonymous with the city.
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