Israel has seized municipal power from the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs in order to “renovate” the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied city of Hebron (Al-Khalil).
The renovations will include the installation of an elevator to allow people with disabilities, including tourists and Jewish worshippers, to access the holy site.
Permission for the move has been granted by Defense Minister Naftali Bennett. The far-right minister has also instructed the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), General Kamil Abu Rukon, to take all necessary action, including the expropriation of land close to the site to advance what is essentially another illegal Jewish settlement project.
— Ramzy Baroud (@RamzyBaroud) April 23, 2020
The Old City of Hebron, Al-Khalil in Arabic, includes the Ibrahimi Mosque and is known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs. It is a highly contested site and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2017.
Israel has steadily taken control of the mosque to facilitate worship by the small group of illegal Jewish settlers who have moved into the center of the Old City at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants. Access to the mosque for Muslim worship is controlled tightly by the occupation authorities and, on occasion, is banned altogether.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)