Hebron is a city located 32 kilometers south of Jerusalem, and is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in the world. It has been an important focus of religious worship for more than two millennia, and is known by different names in different languages. In Hebrew, it is known as Hebron, which derives from the Hebrew word for friend (who has). In Arabic, it is known as Al-Khalil, which means the city of the beloved and refers to Abraham.
The 1967 war saw some Jewish settlers visit Hebron to celebrate Easter, and then decide to renew their lives in what used to be the Jewish neighborhood of Hebron until 1929. In 1997, in accordance with the Hebron Agreement, Israel withdrew 80 percent of Hebron, which was handed over to the Palestinian Authority. Today, about 500 Jews live in a part of the old city of Hebron under the continuous protection of the Israel Defense Forces, and with a ratio of four Israeli soldiers to every Israeli settler. The Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba (with a population of 8,000) is a separate city immediately adjacent to Hebron. Military checkpoints separate the areas of the old town of Hebron, and Palestinians are prohibited from crossing some of these posts in control.
In 1870, a wealthy Turkish Jew, Haim Yisrael Romano, moved to Hebron and bought land on which his family built a large residence and a guest house, which was renamed Beit Romano. Jews continued to live in Hebron after the conquest of the city by the Arabs (in 63), whose generally tolerant rule was well received. In one of these villages there is a spring from which water flows out from under a stone and is led by a canal to a place outside the city where they have built a covered tank to collect water. Hebron has been an important focus of religious worship for more than two millennia and continues to be an important site for both Jews and Muslims today.