Timeline & History


Hebron was historically named after the prophet Abraham, who is said to have lived in in the city 6000 years ago according to the Abrahamic religions. Since then, consecutive civilizations – Assyrians, Babylonians, Chaldeans, and Hyksos – inhabited the city until the Canaanite Arabs came and built most of its historical landscapes. The city has had many names over history, including City of Vineyards.

The city’s is located on the biggest mountain chain in Palestine, extending from Hebron to the Palestinian cost in the north, and from Beit Ummar to Al-Dhahiriyah in the south. The city’s mountainous landscape varies from heights of 300m in western areas to 1000m in the center of the governorate.

The governorate has a moderate Mediterranean climate. Average temperatures vary between 21 C in summer to 7 C in winter. Average annual rainfall reaches 589mm3. Hebron’s history extends back 7000 years. It is a holy city for the three monotheistic religions. It has monuments and shrines for a number of prophets and companions of Prophet Mohammad. It is home to the historic and religious, Ibrahimi mosque, where the shrines of prophets Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph lie next to the shrines of Sarah (Abraham’s wife) and Rifka (Isaac’s wife).


Timeline of Hebron in older history


>>    Early Bronze Age 3 (2200-2000 BCE) – first evidence of a city.

>>    Middle Bronze Age (18001500 BCE) – establishment of a system of fortifications (known as the Cyclopean Wall) that were in use until the end of the Iron Age (586 BCE).

>>    Iron Age (1000-538 BCE) – Evidence of renovations of the fortification system, demonstrating the site was continuously inhabited.

>>    Hellenistic Period (332-167 BCE) – Edomites settle in the area of Mount Hebron.

>>   125 BCE – Yohanan Horkanus I conquers Edom, including Hebron.

>>   The Herodian Period (374 BCE)Archaeologists assume that Herod built a magnificent structure in the style of a basilica over the Cave of the Patriarchs.

>>  The Late Roman Period (132332 CE) – The area of the ancient mound is abandoned and becomes agricultural land. The ancient settlement shifts to the area of the Cave of the Patriarchs in the area currently known as the Old City of Hebron.

>>  The Byzantine Period (332-638 CE) – A Christian church and a monastery are built in Hebron and in its environs. Tel Rumeida is at the fringes of the populated area of the city.

>>  The Islamic Period (638-1099 CE) – Many of the religious structures in Hebron are converted into mosques. The city continues to develop with the Tomb of the Patriarchs as its center. Tel Rumeida remains unpopulated.

>>  The Crusader Period (1099-1291 CE) – The religious structures are reverted back to churches. The Dir-el-Arba’in monastery is built in the area of Tel Rumeida.

>>  The Mamluk Period (1291-1516) – Massive resources are invested in developing the Old City of Hebron into the city as we know it today.

>>  The 16th Century – Spanish Jews settle in the city.



Timeline of Hebron in recent history


>>    1880's: Start of Zionist immigration for the purpose of the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine.

>>    1920's: The Ottoman Empire falls and Hebron comes under the authority of the British mandate.

>>    1920's: Tensions rise between the local Palestinian population and the Zionist immigrants in the whole of Palestine.

>>    1929: Tensions and violence around the authority at the Jerusalem Western Wall. Massacre of Hebron's Jewish residents by Palestinians: 67 Jews and 21 Muslims die. Around 400 Jews were protected by their Palestinian Muslim neighbors. Consequence: The British Mandate evacuates all Jews from hebron.

>>    1947: UN partition plan.

>>    1947-1949: Nakba (catastrophe): the forced expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and lands by Jewish militia.

>>    1948: End of the British Mandate, declaration of the State of Israel, first Arab-Israeli War, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Hebron, comes under Jordanian rule.

>>    1964-1966 – The first archaeological excavation is carried out in Tel Rumeida, headed by Phillip Hammond of Princeton University.

>>    1967: During the Six-Day War, Israel occupies the Syrian Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Hebron.

>>    1968: Israeli citizens rent the Park hotel in Hebron 48 hours for Passover before declaring that they do not intend to leave. A month later they relocated to live in an abandoned administration building.

>>    1970: The Israeli Knesset approves the establishment of the settlement Kiryat Arba on the outskirts of Hebron city. This is the first internationally illegal settlement in the Hebron area.

>>    1979: Israeli settlers from Kiryat Arba take over the Daboya building in Hebron's Shuhada Street and rename it Beit Hadassah settlement.

>>    1983-84: Establishment of the first settlement point inside Hebron city on the ancient neighborhood Tel Rumeida.

>>    1987-1993: First Intifada.

>>    1993: PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin sign the Oslo I Accords.

>>   1984-1986 – The first excavation of Tel Rumeida following the occupation of Hebron by Israel. The excavation is carried out under the auspices of Tel Aviv University, the Staff Officer for Archaeology of the Civil Administration and the Israel Exploration Society, headed by Avi Ofer.

>>    February 25, 1994: American-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein massacre 29 Palestinian Muslim worshippers in the Ibrahimi Mosque, injuring more than 100. The Israeli army closes Shuhada street, Hebron's most important market street, to Palestinian vehicles while forbidding Palestinian stores from opening.

>>    1997: The Hebron Protocol divides the city into H1 (under control of the Palestinian authority) and H2 (under control of the Israeli military). Shuhada street is reopened.

>>    1998: Shuhada street is again closed to Palestinian vehicles.

>>    2000: Second Intifada erupts.

>>    2001: Part of Shuhada street is closed completely to Palestinian vehicles and pedestrians.

>>    2002: The Israeli army invades and takes full control of the city, establishing positions in H1.

>>    2003: The Israeli army shuts down Hebron Polytechnic University until a group of students successfully campaigns to have it reopened.

>>    2006: The Israeli army's legal advisor states that Shuhada street should not have been closed to Palestinian pedestrian traffic. However, pedestrian traffic remains restricted.

>>    2015: The Israeli military declares large parts of H2 a closed military area: only registered Palestinian inhabitants are allowed to enter the area. Israeli settlers and soldiers continue to move freely.

>>    2016: The Israeli military partly reopens the closed area in H2. Israeli settlers changes the names of streets from Palestinian Arabic names to Israeli Hebrew names.

>>    2019: Israel expels official observer group TIPH from Hebron after the organization's confidential twentieth anniversary report cites more than 40,000 in the city and finds that Israel commits routine violations of international law.

>>    2021-22: Human Rights Watch, B'Tselem, and Amnesty International publish reports finding that Israel commits the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people.

>>    2022-23: Israel's new government steps into power, appointing Israeli settlers from Hebron in key ministerial positions.



Timeline of Nonviolent Resistance in Hebron


>>    2003: The Israeli army shuts down Hebron Polytechnic University until a group of students led by Issa Amro successfully campaigns to have it reopened.

>>    2006: Palestinian activists led by Issa Amro successfully campaigns to return a house into Palestinian possession, located directly next to an Israeli army base. The house becomes an community center for nonviolent resistance.

>>    2007-2008: Youth Against Settlements is established.

>>    2009: Issa Amro wins the One World Media award for coordinating B'Tselem's camera distribution project in Hebron.

>>    2010: The United Nations declare Issa Amro Human Rights Defender of the Year in Palestine.

>>    2013: UN Special Rapporteurs express concern over Issa Amro's wellbeing and safety.

>>    2015: Youth Against Settlements document beatings and killings of Palestinians, and the Israeli military force closed the group's activity center by including it in the closed military area in H2.

>>    2016: Youth Against Settlements campaigns to reopen the center and closed military zone, succeeding in lifting certain restrictions. Issa Amro is indicted on 18 military charges related to his nonviolence activities.

>>    2017: Working for Peace and Justice is established. The trial of Issa Amro officially begins, U.S. senators and congress members urge Israel to reconsider the charges against him.

>>    2019: Palestinian activists establish observer group to counteract the expulsion of TIPH from the city.

>>    2021: Issa Amro is convicted on six military charges related to his peaceful community work.