There are few places more historically rich, or classically beautiful, then Hebron. According to Christian tradition, Hebron may have been where John the Baptist was born, while Jewish tradition suggests that Adam and Eve are buried in a Hebron cave called Machpelah. In Islam, it is believed that the Prophet stopped in Hebron during his journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, leaving one of his shoes behind in the city’s mosque. Hebron is known as the second holiest city, after Jerusalem, and has the nickname “The City of Patriarchs” after the Cave of the Patriarchs, known as the world's most ancient Jewish site. With so many religious connections, the city has always attracted pilgrims from around the world, and many religious orders maintain a base there. As such, it is important to be aware of religious traditions while living in Hebron. As the city is located in Palestinian territory, the local population is predominantly Muslim, but there is a significant minority of Christians, and a few Jewish enclaves. If you have never lived in a Muslim society before, InterNations’ Expat Magazine is full of tips on assimilating to different cultures, and dealing with any potential culture shocks.
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Moving to Hebron is like moving to any West Bank city – it is a busy place with community values, and expats are generally welcomed with open arms. However, this city is located on one of the most controversial pieces of land in the world. Before you move, visit the InterNations’ discussion forums to get advice from expatriates who have already spent time in Palestine and learn what you should keep in mind before moving to Hebron. For instance, there are no airports in the West Bank, so to travel to Hebron you will have to cross through the Israeli checkpoints. Be prepared to queue for several hours, particularly if you are crossing the border by car. Shuttle buses run services from Hebron to Jerusalem, and sometimes receive priority in the queues, although it may be quicker to cross over by foot and hail a cab on the other side.
There are many expats already working in Hebron, and the expatriate community is tight knit. You will find it easy to meet other expats in Hebron, simply by listening out for familiar accents or languages, or hanging out in the local coffee shops or bars. Palestine is a beautiful place, and Hebron’s situation among the Judean mountains is particularly breath-taking. If you plan on travelling around the local area while taking a break from working in Hebron, make sure you have a good car, ideally a 4x4, as the roads are not always in great condition. If you are worried about safety, or any other local concerns, visit the InterNations’ forums and discussion boards, or directly contact other expatriates in Palestine, in order to ask for advice on living in Palestine.