Israel Closes Ibrahimi Mosque to Palestinians for Jewish Holidays

Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron (Photo: File)

Israeli forces Monday denied Palestinian worshippers access to the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil), citing the Jewish holidays as a pretext, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

A large number of Israeli soldiers deployed in the vicinity of the mosque and around the old city, placing stifling restrictions on Palestinian movement, as illegal Jewish settlers were preparing to celebrate Yom Kippur.

Director of the mosque Hifthi Abu Sneineh told WAFA that the closure went into effect on Sunday afternoon and it would remain imposed until 10:00 PM. on Monday, noting that the settlers set up tents in the area.

Member of the PLO Executive Committee Ahmad Tamimi slammed the closure as a “blatant infringement” upon Palestinians and Muslims’ human rights, including the right to freedom of worship.

A week ago, Israeli authorities closed the mosque for two days in a row in order to make way for Jewish settlers to celebrate the Rosh Hashanah holiday or the Jewish New Year.

The Ibrahimi Mosque, believed to be the burial place of the Prophet Abraham, is sacred to both Muslims and Jews and has been the site of oft-violent tensions for decades.

The Mosque is located in the Israeli-controlled section of Hebron, known as H2. It has been divided between Muslims and Jews following the massacre carried out on February 25, 1994, by Israeli-American settler Baruch Goldstein, who opened fire at a large number of Palestinian worshippers as they were performing the dawn prayers on a Ramadan day.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

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