In spring 1968, a group of Israelis, lead by Rabbi Moshe Levinger, asked the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) for the permission to spend Passover in Park Hotel in Hebron. After the holidays the group remained in the hotel with support of some Israeli politicians. After several months, a compromise was reached between Levinger`s group and Israeli authorities. The group was given a piece of land confiscated by the IDF on the eastside of Hebron, where they started to establish the Kiryat Arba settlement.
In 1979, a group of settlers from the Kiryat Arba settlement returned to downtown Hebron, establishing the Beit Hadassah settlement, the first settlement in the center of Hebron. The three other downtown settlements in Hebron, Avraham Avinu, Beit Romano and Tel Rumeida settlement, were established shortly after, between 1980 and 1984.
The four Israeli settlements in downtown Hebron have approximately 500 inhabitants. Another 7 000 people live in the Kiryat
Arba settlement in the outskirts of the city. Other settlements surrounding Hebron include the Givat Ha'avot settlement and
the Givat Harsina settlement east of Hebron, and the Beit Haggai settlement at the southern border of the city.
The settlement was the first Israeli downtown settlement to be established in Hebron. The ground floor of the building was built around 1880 by Jews living in Hebron. Around 1909, the building served as a Jewish hospital. After the last Jews were evacuated from the city in 1936, it was used as a diary factory and until the mid-1970s as a school run by UNRWA.
In 1979 a group of ten Jewish women from Kiryat Arba and 40 children moved into Beit Hadassah/Al-Dabbuya vacant at the time, and refused to leave. The Israeli government led by Prime Minister Menachem Begin did not formally recognise the new settlement in Hebron. At the same time, it did not support removing the women and children by force.
In May 1980, one year after the women had moved into Beit Hadassah/Al-Dabbuya, six yeshiva students were killed in front of the building in a Palestinian ambush. Following the incident, the Israeli government decided to allow the women's husbands to live in Beit Hadassah/Al-Dabbuya. Their presence was ultimately recognised and the building was rehabilitated and extended with the support of the Israeli government.
Today, the settlement consists of a cluster of buildings. Inside, the settlers have established a museum of the Jewish history
of Hebron and a memorial room for the 67 Jews killed by Arab rioters in the 1929 massacre.
It is the largest of the downtown settlements.The settlement is built around the site of the Old Jewish Quarter of Hebron and the original synagogue in the city. The settlement was built in the early 1980s with the permission of the Israeli government. The settlers claim that it was purchased by Jewish exiles from Spain in 1540 and therefore consider it the property of the Jewish community in Hebron.
Beit Romano/Madraset Osama
This settlement consists of a yeshiva for Jewish religious studies - Yeshivat Shavei Hevron - and an IDF military camp. According to the settlers, the first Beit Romano was constructed in 1879 by Avraham (Haim) Romano, a wealthy Jew from Turkey, as a home for the elderly of the Turkish community. In 1917, the British Mandate Authorities confiscated the building and used it as headquarters and police station.
In 1948, the Jordanians opened a boys' school at the site called Osama ibn Munqidh. The school was closed by the IDF in 1981/82 for security reasons. In 1980, the Israeli government permitted the restoration and expansion of Beit Romano/Madraset Osama.
Yeshivat Shavei Hevron was established in Beit Romano/Madraset Osama in 1983, and there is a rotation of students twice a
year. In July 2008, the Israeli Minister of Defence approved the construction of a multi-storey structure adjacent to the
existing Yeshiva as dormitories for additional students. The construction began in 2001, but was halted in March 2002 following
a decision by the Israeli High Court of Justice.
The settlement is located on a hilltop overlooking the old city of Hebron. It is believed to be located in the original Biblical Hebron, home of the patriarchs and King David.
The Tombs of Jesse (father of King David) and Ruth (grandmother of King David) are believed to be located on the southern part of the hill.
In 1984 a group of seven Israeli families placed portable caravans on the hilltop, calling it the Admot Yishai neighborhood. The construction of permanent buildings was approved by the Israeli government following the death of one of the residents, Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan, in August 1998.