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Routing for Rahel
[IN JERUSALEM Edition]
Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem
Author: DAVE BENDER, Dan Izenberg contributed to this article
Date: Feb 11, 2005
Start Page: 08
Section: Features
Abstract (Document Summary)

[Miriam Adani], who established the [Kever Rahel] fund in 1999, reveals that for her and her supporters, the Court's decision is also the first step towards the establishment of a Jewish community around the Rahel's Tomb compound. In the past few years, she claims, several houses in this area have been purchased from their Arab owners, who have since left the area and perhaps the country. She adamantly declined to give any details regarding these deals.

Attorney Arie Tussia-Cohen, who represented the Palestinians in this case, views the situation differently. Speaking to the media after the decision, he said: "Unfortunately, the High Court of Justice took into account only the narrowest aspect of the conflict, and not the wider aspects. The court did not internalize the situation that has been created, according to which the IDF is giving in to political pressures and changing the routes [of the passage to Rahel's Tomb] according to pressure groups. The court annexed Rahel's Tomb to the State of Israel, in violation of the Oslo Accords, which determined that the area would be under Palestinian, and not Israeli, control."

Adani's protege in running the Rachel's Tomb Fund operation, veteran immigrant from Queens, New York, Aviva Pinchuk, says that Rahel's tomb is a particularly significant site for Jewish women. "When the Intifada erupted, Jewish worshipers were cut off from reaching Rahel's Tomb for 41 days, due to the fighting and lack of security arrangements for visitors. Despite the difficulties, a stalwart group of 40 women residents of Hebron gathered together and walked past the barricades and up to the site, which was under IDF control," she recalls. "Astonished soldiers manning the site allowed the group access, later requiring them to acquire armored vehicles to allow safe passage."

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