Herzog to Light First Night of Chanukah at Me’aras HaMachpelah, Angering Meretz

YERUSHALAYIM -
Me’aras HaMachpelah in Chevron. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

President Yitzchak Herzog will light the menorah for the first night of Chanukah, on Sunday night, at Me’aras HaMachpelah in Chevron, angering the left-wing Meretz party, a member of the coalition.

Herzog’s office announced the event on Wednesday.

Meretz MKs Mossi Raz, Gaby Lasky and Michal Rozin said in a statement, “The President needs to be a unifying figure. Control of Chevron, and the occupied territories in particular, is in sharp political dispute. Out of all the settlements, the settlement in Chevron at Me’aras HaMachpelah is the most outrageous.”

The site has been a major flashpoint for violence.

Chevron is the largest city in Yehudah and Shomron and home to about 1,000 Jewish residents who live under heavy military protection among more than 200,000 Palestinians.

The city is mostly controlled by the Palestinian Authority, but the area of Me’aras HaMachpelah and adjacent areas are controlled by Israel.