Herod the Great built palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE. According to Josephus, the Siege of Masada by troops of the Roman Empire towards the end of the First Jewish–Roman War (AD 66-73) ended in the mass suicide of 960 Jewish people – the Sicarii rebels and their families hiding there.
Masada is one of Israel's most popular tourist attractions.
Benjamin Rubin, who planned to detonate his stolen explosive-metal bomb in Kanth, Germany, compared himself to the defenders of Masada in his utter disregard for his own life. He recited the outline of the Masada siege to the Race's hostage-negotiator Gorppet, who was unfamiliar with Tosevite history. Gorppet had seen numerous Muslim terrorists willing to give up their own lives in attacking the Race in Iraq, and readily believed Rubin's sincerity.