Wrecked synagogues and Jewish homes, stained with the blood of 67 Jews. Such was the scene on this day in 1929 when a mob rampaged through the ancient Jewish community of Hebron. Here are some rarely-seen photos of the destruction from the Picture-a-day American Colony collection. The leaders of the Hebron Jewish community have admitted not having seen them before.
On Yom Kippur 1928, Jews brought chairs and screens to prayers at the Western Wall. This purported change of the status quo was exploited by the Mufti, Haj Amin el Husseini, to launch a jihad against the Jews. Husseini’s campaign continued and escalated after a Jewish demonstration at the Kotel on Tisha B’Av in August 1929. Rumors spread that Jews had attacked Jerusalem mosques and massacred Muslims. The fuse was lit for a major explosion.
Starting on Friday, August 23, 1929 and lasting for a week, attacks by enraged Arab mobs were launched against Jews in the Old City in Jerusalem, in Jerusalem suburbs Sanhedria, Motza, Bayit Vegan, Ramat Rachel, in outlying Jewish communities, and in the Galilee town of Tzfat.Small Jewish communities in Gaza, Ramla, Jenin, and Nablus had to be abandoned.
The attack in Hebron became a frenzied pogrom with the Arab mob stabbing, axing, decapitating and disemboweling 67 men, women and children. At least 133 Jews were killed across Palestine. In 1931, there was a short-lived attempt to reestablish the Jewish community in Hebron, but within a few years it was abandoned until the Israel Defense Forces recaptured Hebron in 1967.
The British indulged the Arabs and responded by limiting Jewish immigration and land purchases.
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Scars of a Hebron survivor (Haaretz)