Baruch Goldstein

American-Israeli mass murderer (1956–1994) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Baruch Kopel Goldstein (Hebrew: ברוך קופל גולדשטיין; born Benjamin Carl Goldstein;[2] December 9, 1956 – February 25, 1994) was an Israeli-American mass murderer, religious extremist, and physician who perpetrated the 1994 terrorist attack on a mosque attended by Palestinians, known as the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in Hebron.[3][4][5] Goldstein was a supporter of the Kach, a religious Zionist party that the European Union and other countries designate as terrorist.[6]

Quick facts: Baruch Goldstein, Born, Died, Cause of d...
Baruch Goldstein
Benjamin Carl Goldstein

(1956-12-09)December 9, 1956
DiedFebruary 25, 1994(1994-02-25) (aged 37)
Cause of deathBeating
Alma mater
Known forCave of the Patriarchs massacre
MotiveAnti-Palestinian sentiment
DateFebruary 25, 1994
Location(s)West Bank, Palestine
WeaponIMI Galil

On 25 February 1994, Goldstein, a resident of the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba near Hebron, entered a room in the Cave of the Patriarchs that was serving as a mosque. Dressed in Israeli military uniform, he opened fire on the 800 Palestinian Muslim worshippers praying during the month of Ramadan, killing 29 and wounding 125 worshippers, until he was beaten to death by survivors.[7]

Following the massacre, Jewish Israelis were barred from entering major Arab communities in Hebron. The Israeli government also took extreme measures against Palestinians following the deadly riots after the massacre,[8] expelling them from certain streets near Jewish settlements in Hebron, such as Al-Shuhada Street, where many Palestinians had homes and businesses, and allowing access exclusively to Jewish Israelis and foreign tourists.[9]

The Israeli government and the international community condemned the massacre. Israel arrested followers of Meir Kahane, criminalized the Kach movement and affiliated movements as terrorist, forbidding certain Israeli settlers to enter Palestinian towns, and demanding that those settlers turn in their army-issued rifles,[10] although rejecting a Palestinian Liberation Organization demand that all settlers in the West Bank be disarmed and that an international force be created to protect Palestinians.[10]

Goldstein's gravesite became a pilgrimage site for Jewish extremists.[11] The following words are inscribed on the tomb: "He gave his life for the people of Israel, its Torah and land."[9] In 1999, after the passing of Israeli legislation outlawing monuments to terrorists, the Israeli Army dismantled the shrine that had been built to Goldstein at the site of his interment. The tombstone and its epitaph, calling Goldstein a martyr with clean hands and a pure heart, was left untouched.[12] After the flagstones around it were pried away under the eye of a military chaplain, the ground was covered with gravel.