Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas warns of a “holy war” over Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. Muslims claim it is a 1,000-year-old mosque, although Islam - only 1,300 years old itself - began publicly claiming the site only 44 years ago. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused Abbas of “hypocrisy.”
The Prime Minister announced earlier this week that the ancient tomb, located immediately south of Jerusalem, and the Patriarchs’ Cave (Me'arat HaMachpelah) in Hevron, are Jewish heritage sites that will be refurbished.
Genesis Chapter 23 describes the purchase of the Patriarch's Cave by Abraham in order to bury his wife Sarah, and Genesis 35, 19 describes that Rachel "died and was buried on the road to Efrata which is Bethlehem...the sign of her grave stands until today."
"Why would the Arabs Even Care about This Tomb exect for spite.They claim decendance from Abraham through Hagar and Ishamael Not Sarah or Rachel, Jocobs favorite wife.The Jewish People claim their decendancy from Abraham through Jacob/Israel and not Isaac . "
The entire Muslim world has protested Israel’s initiative, and the United Nations has expressed “concerns.” Hizbullah, Iran, Egypt, Syria and Jordan warned that the move is a provocation, and Hamas outrightly called for violence. Abbas, visiting in Brussels, told the Belgian parliament in Brussels that the move is a “serious provocation which may lead to a religious war.”
The Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, broke out in 2000 after then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Leftist and Arab protestors have rioted the past two days in Hevron, where the Patriarch’s Cave is located, throwing rocks at soldiers, one of whom was lightly wounded.
"At the outskirts of the land of Canaan, approaching Efrat, Rachel went into a difficult labor with her second son, Benjamin. The midwife tells her in the middle of the birth that her child is a boy. Before she died, Rachel named her son Ben Oni ("son of my mourning"), but Jacob called him Ben Yamin (Benjamin). Rashi explains that Ben Yamin either means "son of the right" (i.e., "south"), since Benjamin was the only one of Jacob's sons born in Canaan, which is to the south of Paddan Aram; or it could mean "son of my days," as Benjamin was born in Jacob's old age.
Rachel died on the eleventh day of the Hebrew month of Heshvan,and was buried by Jacob on the road to Efrat, just outside Bethlehem.
Today Rachel's Tomb, located between Bethlehem and the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo,is visited by tens of thousands of "(Jewish)" visitors each year."