In a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Social Rights Minister Gila Gamliel has expressed the need for an elevator to be installed at Me’aras Hamachpelah to allow access by the disabled. The elevator project requires security authorization from the two, and Gamliel’s Ministry will foot the bill, she said in the letter.
About a million people visit the site each year, and the only access to the Me’arah is via a stairway consisting of ten steps – meaning that entry is effectively impossible for disabled visitors who do not have someone to assist them. Gamliel’s Ministry is authorized to install systems to allow for the access of disabled people to sites around the country.
In her letter, Gamliel wrote that “It has been 50 years since Yehudah and Shomron were liberated, and the time has come to enable access to Me’aras Hamachpelah for all, including the disabled. As the Minister for Equal Opportunity issues, I see it as a great obligation to enable all those who wish to have access to the site to be able to enter. As soon as the project is approved, we will move forward with it.”