PM makes comment following death of victim of terror attack who was stabbed at the site three weeks ago.
(Netanyahu: We will be at the Cave of the Patriarchs forever)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to the family of Gennady Kaufman, the Israeli who was stabbed by a terrorist in the West Bank near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron earlier this month and who died of his wounds on Wednesday morning.
"Gennady was the gardener at the Cave of the Patriarchs. He was stabbed in a murderous attack a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, he was not able to recover," Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting.
The Cave of the Patriarchs is the most ancient Jewish shrine in the world and the second holiest site of pilgrimage in Judaism, while also revered by Muslims. It is believed to be the burial place of the biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and of the matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca and Leah.
Netanyahu stressed the historical connection to the site and said that Israel would not be moved from it.
"This morning, I say to all those who wish to uproot us from the Cave of the Patriarchs: with the exception of a few years in the previous century, we have been there close to 4,000 years," Netanyahu said.
"And there we will stay forever. You cannot defeat us," he added.