Mamre is connected to the place of Abraham. Mamre is the place of Abraham. The Oak at Mamre, situated on the huge property of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) is attributed to Abraham and sacred to all religions of the Holy Land. From a historical point of view, there is no certainty to the actual age of this oak, but it is approx. 5000 years old. In 1997, this property of the ROCOR, and with it the only Christian Church of Hebron, was seized by Palestinian so-called police, expropriated and illegally handed over to representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate (MP). This happened on July 5th 1997. The monks were given 30 minutes to pack and physically beaten at the applause of representatives of the MP, who afterwards simply installed themselves.
This incredible injustice bares witness to the lack of fairness of the evolving Palestinian nation. Before the recent violation of the monastery in Jericho (15th Jan 2000), no official explanation was given and there was signal of any hope that an agreement could be reached, meaning no return of the property to the ROCOR, the official owners (and an older organization than the MP, which was created by Stalin in 1941 and apparently still, along with Palestinian friends, utilizes KGB methods).
On our visit to the Holy Land in October 1998, my family and I decided to try to visit the Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Hebron. When we arrived in Hebron, the ancient capital of Judea, we first visited the tombs of the Patriarchs in Haram el Khalil in the Centre of town. Then we had to tackle the problem that other parts of Hebron were closed. Somehow we managed to enter (details withheld on purpose) and again somehow we managed to find the area of Mamre in spite of our Jerusalem-registered car (no, I shall not tell you how, only that is was kind of dramatic). The monastery was closed but, as you can see from the pictures, not closed enough. The Oak of Abraham (which is now dead with iron bars supporting it and protected from the public by a high fence) is a short walk from within the gate. Afterwards, we drove up towards the Church. Only two MP monks were present, surprised by our visit, but I should admit, quite friendly now that we were there. After seeing the inside of the church, we went behind it to see two ancient tombs, much like the one Christ was buried in. A dog with her puppies occupied one of them, so we only saw the interior of the other (note the stone which was used to close the tomb is carved in two levels to fit the doorway). Finally we left Mamre and Hebron and drove south without any further problems.
Now that the PNA have decided that they "only
the MP" and does so with the open support of Russian diplomats,
all rules of land-properties and disturbing the fragile status-quo of
in the Holy Land, it becomes clear that they have simply been playing
time for two and a half years. Any further negotiation in this way must
be understood as playing their game. Instead, it seems proper to state
that the Palestinian Territories of today is an illegitimate place,
ripe for any recognition of independence, nor for any foreign
or support. Please help me to spread this recognition as broadly as