Kiryat Arba Started As Military Base


Haaretz reports that a recently revealed secret document from 1970 reveals a long known open secret – many West Bank settlements were founded as military installations in an attempt to comply with international opinions that it was illegal for Israel to build civilian towns in the area. The international community generally views Israeli construction in the West Bank as illegal.

Titled, “The Method for Establishing Kiryat Arba,” the document records a meeting in former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan’s office where it was decided to build “250 housing units in Kiryat Arba within the perimeter of the area specified for the military unit’s use.”

“All the building will be done by the Defense Ministry and will be presented as construction for the IDF’s needs,” the document went on. A “few days” after the base “completed its activities,” “the commander of the Chevron district will summon the mayor of Chevron, and in the course of raising other issues, will inform him that we’ve started to build houses on the military base in preparation for winter.”

David Kretzmer, Professor Emeritus of International Law at the Hebrew University of Yerushalayim, wrote in an analysis that Israel’s Supreme Court “has done its utmost to avoid having to rule on the general legality of establishing settlements in occupied territory.”

David Steger – Israel


  1. This is not news. The US Government knew about this in April 1968 and objected. You can find the document saying so (without mentioning any specific settlement) in the online State Department Archives.

  2. Spent an extraordinary Shabbos in early Kiryat Arba military base KEHILLAs. The Levingers were there & a few other pillars of Chevron. A spiritual & beautiful Shabbos.


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