HEBRON, Wednesday, September 22, 2021 (WAFA) – The Israeli occupation authorities Tuesday evening denied Palestinians access to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron city, citing Jewish holidays as a pretext.
The Mosque Director, Hefzi Abu Sneineh, told WAFA that Israeli forces informed the mosque administration that the site would be closed as of Tuesday night until Friday midnight under the pretext of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
He added that the occupation authorities have prevented the call at the mosque 60 times since September 1 purportedly for annoying settlers.
Twenty six years ago, Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque and opened fire at Palestinian Muslim worshippers, killing 29. Four Palestinians were killed on the same day in the clashes that broke out around the Mosque in response to the massacre.
In the aftermath, the mosque, known to Jews as Tomb of the Patriarchs, was divided in two, with the larger part turned into a synagogue while heavy scrutiny was imposed on the Palestinians and areas closed completely to them, including an important market and the main street, Shuhada street.
An estimated 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers live under the protection of thousands of soldiers in Hebron’s city center. The city is home to over 30,000 Palestinians.
Israel uses the Jewish nationalist name “Judea and Samaria” to refer to the occupied West Bank to reinforce its bogus claims to the territory and to give them a veneer of historical and religious legitimacy.
Such Israeli measures, taken under the guise of security, are intended to entrench Israel’s 54-year-old military occupation of the West Bank and its settler colonial project which it enforces with routine and frequently deadly violence against Palestinians.