West Bank Tensions – Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Woman, Hundreds Storm Al-Aqsa

Israeli soldiers near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil, Hebron. (Photo: via WAFA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

According to The Islamic Waqf, 875 Israeli settlers broke into the compounds of al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday morning.

Israeli forces have shot and killed a Palestinian woman north of Hebron (Al Khalil) in the occupied West Bank, while in a provocative move, Israeli forces sealed off the Ibrahim mosque in the town, barring Muslim worshippers from accessing the holy site.

Maimouna Bdel Hamid Harahsheh, 20, was fatally shot in the head by soldiers on Wednesday who left her to bleed to death, the Palestinian news agency, WAFA, reported.

Ambulance crews were prevented from reaching her, and Israeli forces have withheld her body, WAFA reported, citing the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Ibrahimi Mosque Shut

Israeli occupation forces on Wednesday closed the Ibrahimi Mosque in the southern West Bank city of Hebron for Muslim worshippers, under the pretext of the Jewish holiday of Passover while opening it only for Jewish prayers, for two days, WAFA reported.

The mosque’s director, Moataz Abu Sneineh, denounced the closure, saying it was a blatant violation of its sanctity and a provocative attack on the right of Muslims to access their places of worship.

The Israeli forces also tightened security and closed all military checkpoints and electronic gates leading to the Mosque, in order to secure the settlers’ celebrations of the Passover in the mosque and its courtyards, WAFA said.

Witnesses confirmed that the occupation forces were deployed at all entrances leading to the mosque, to secure the arrival of the settlers to the town and archaeological areas.

Some markets in the Old City were also closed.

WAFA said Israeli forces completely closed the mosque for 10 days a year, for the Jewish holidays.

Revered by both Muslims and Jews, the Ibrahimi Mosque complex is believed to be the burial site of the prophets Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

After the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers inside the mosque by a Jewish extremist settler, Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli authorities divided the mosque complex between Muslim and Jewish worshippers.

Hebron is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 500 illegal Jewish settlers, reported the Anadolu news agency. The latter live in a series of Jewish-only enclaves heavily guarded by Israeli troops.

Hundreds Storm Al-Aqsa

Meanwhile, Jewish settlers have stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, under Israeli police guard.

According to The Islamic Waqf, 875 Israeli settlers broke into the compounds of al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday morning.

The Islamic Waqf confirmed that the settlers, divided into groups, raided the mosque from al-Maghariba gate and took provocative tours in its compounds.

‘Passover Sacrifice’ – Jewish Settlers Try to Smuggle Goats into Al Aqsa Compound 

It added that the extremist settlers performed Talmudic rituals in the eastern part of the mosque.

Settlers are expected to go on a flag march on Thursday, storming the Old City of occupied Jerusalem.

On Monday, around 172 settlers raided the mosque from the Mughariba Gate and performed Talmudic rituals there, according to WAFA.

At the same time, heavily armed soldiers increased security and tightened restrictions at the gates leading to the Old City ahead of extremist calls for animals to be sacrificed in the mosque for the Jewish Passover.


Israeli forces also raided the town of Al-Samou, south of Hebron, on Wednesday deploying dozens of military vehicles, WAFA reported. A vehicle belonging to a Palestinian was confiscated.

Soldiers also raided the village of Tabqa, southwest of Hebron and set up a military checkpoint at the entrance to the village.

WAFA said Israeli forces have been imposing strict measures against residents of the town of Yatta, south of the city, including setting up military checkpoints at the entrances to villages located east of the town. Residents were beaten during the mass raid on the town.

The forces also seized another vehicle belonging to a local resident while he was at the entrance of the town of Yatta.


Israeli forces meanwhile detained at least 15 Palestinians in multiple raids across the West Bank, according to the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission (PAC) and the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), WAFA reported.

Raids were conducted in the West Bank districts of Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron and Jerusalem.

The organizations said the large-scale raids caused extensive destruction of infrastructure and houses. Detainees were also beaten, along with their families, reported WAFA.

Three Palestinians were detained in Ya’bad town, west of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and their homes were ransacked.

Another Palestinian was detained in the village of Kafr Dan, northwest of Jenin, after he was stopped at a military checkpoint in Wadi al-Badhan, northeast of Nablus.

In Jenin, Israeli forces continued to invade Jalboun village for the third consecutive day, where they occupied the rooftops of two houses and used them as firing posts.

They also confiscated a carwash facility and broke into and ransacked two storage rooms in the village.

In the district of Qalqiliya, WAFA reported a similar raid in Azzun town, east of the city, resulting in the detention of two youths.

In the district of Nablus, a convoy of army vehicles stormed the Askar al-Jadid refugee camp, before the soldiers ransacked dozens of houses, interrogated many Palestinians and eventually detained two.

In Hebron, Israeli forces stormed their way into Halhul town and detained two people after their homes were raided.

Over 8,000 Detentions

PAC and PPS noted that at least 8,445 Palestinians have been detained from the West Bank, including Jerusalem, since October 7.

According to the latest figures from Addameer, the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, there are currently 9,500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centres, including 200 child prisoners and 80 female prisoners, reported WAFA.

This number includes approximately 3,660 Palestinians placed under “administrative detention”, which allows the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable intervals ranging between three and six months based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.

(PC, WAFA, Anadolu)

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