The Hebron Massacre – FOIA’d Cables from 1994


On February 25, 1994, an American-Israeli settler named Benjamin “Baruch” Goldstein entered the site in Hebron known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque and to Jews as the Cave of the Machpelah.

Goldstein, who was a supporter of the “Kach” political movement founded by Meir Kahane, proceeded to open fire on Palestinians who were praying at the site, massacring 29 people (including four 12-yr-olds and 3 others under the age of 18); he wounded more than 100 others, including some with life-changing injuries.

At the time of the massacre, I was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer posted to the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem’s Political Section, where my portfolio included the settlers and settlement-related issues of all kinds. Beginning almost immediately after the attack took place, when a settler contact called to tip me off that the assailant was an American citizen, and through the hours, days, weeks and months that followed the massacre, I reported extensively to Washington on the attack and its aftermath.

In 2013, I successfully FOIA’d many of the cables I produced during my tour in Jerusalem, including some related to the Hebron Massacre. For the historical record, I have scanned and am posting key examples (as redacted by the State Department prior to declassification).

1. 1994-Feb-25 0743Z – Massacre at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron
2. 1994-Feb-25 1121Z – West Bank Chaotic Following Massacre; Amcit Allegedly Responsible
3. 1994-Feb-28 – Sitrep 10 – Settlers Circle the Wagons
4. 1994-Jun-10 – [REDACTED] Despondent After “Intense” Joint Hebron Committee Meeting
5. 1994-Jun-27 Guided Tour of Kiryat Arba & the Downtown Hebron Settlements