Israeli forces prevented the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) from carrying out restoration works in the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied city of Hebron (Al-Khalil).
Israeli forces on Thursday prevented HRC employees from continuing with the restoration work in the mosque, according to the director of the mosque, Sheikh Hafthi Abu Sneineh.
He said that work is regulated under the Palestinian Ministry of Waqf and through coordination with the HRC, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.
Israeli occupation forces prevented al-Khalil Rehabilitation Committee from finishing restoration and maintenance works at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of al-Khalil. #PalestineNews #Group4Palestine #SobatPalestinaINA pic.twitter.com/TnWq14WCTV
— MOHD HARIZ ANWAR (@MHBASjam) May 28, 2020
Abu Sneineh also explained that the Israeli authorities tried to take control over the holy site, also known as Cave of the Patriarchs.
The Ibrahimi Mosque was closed from early March whilst the occupied West Bank was dealing with coronavirus and was opened on Tuesday, along with the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem.
On May 26, the Israeli army closed all military checkpoints and electronic gates leading to the Ibrahimi Mosque and prevented residents from crossing to reach the mosque for prayer.
The Israeli occupation forces prevented, at dawn today, Friday, citizens from accessing the Ibrahimi Mosque to perform the Fajr prayer, as well as the muezzin from raising the call to prayer.🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/Jm0XPaffIh
— Mohammed Ali (@Mohamme59157135) May 29, 2020
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, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Social Media)