Hebron: A Tale of Two Knives

February 16, 2020

2 min read

Two events at the Tomb of the Patriarchs on Sunday morning graphically illustrated the difference between the religious aspirations of the descendants of Isaac versus those of the descendants of Ishmael.

A 16-year old Palestinian boy was stopped by IDF Border Police as he attempted to enter the Tomb of the Patriarchs with a knife in his bag. He attacked one soldier as he tried to enter the compound but was subdued with no soldiers being injured in the attack. 

Yishai Fleisher, International Spokesman for the Jewish Community in Hebron, announced that a brit milah (circumcision) was performed on two Jewish infants at the time the attack was attempted. Fleisher could not help but contrast the events.


According to both Jewish and Muslims traditions, both of Abraham’s sons were circumcised;  Ishmael when he was 13 years old and Isaac while he was eight days old. To this day, Jews circumcise their healthy male infants at precisely eight days. Islamic sources do not fix a particular time for circumcision, referred to as Khitan. Therefore, there is a wide variation in practice among Muslim communities, with children often being circumcised in late childhood or early adolescence

This is the third attempt by Palestinians to carry out a stabbing attack at Abraham’s Tomb since the beginning of the year. `

Last month, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed 22-year-old Moshe Greenblatt as he walked to the Tomb of Abraham. The blade of the knife miraculously snapped off, preventing the terrorist from continuing his attack. 

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