Home Occupation 05/December/2022 12:17 PM

Israel proceeds with construction of settler-only elevator at Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque

Israel proceeds with construction of settler-only elevator at Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque

HEBRON, Monday, December 05, 2022 (WAFA) – The Israeli occupation authorities are proceeding with the construction of a settler-only elevator at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Old City of Hebron, according to a local official.

Director of the Waqf Department, Nidal Ja‘bari, said that Israeli forces continued excavation and concrete works using heavy machinery in the outdoor western courtyard of the site as a prelude to install an elevator and establish a “tourist track”, which would only serve Israeli settlers.

Director of the mosque, Ghassan Rajabi, slammed the construction works as a blatant violation and an unprecedented tempering with the historical features of the site.

Meanwhile, PLO Executive Committee member, Ahmad Tamimi, pointed that the ongoing construction works are part of the Israeli policies of settler-colonialism intended to de-Palestinize the site and seize its courtyards and facilities.

In last May, the occupation authorities began demolishing a part of the white stairs of the Mosque in preparation for the elevator installation.

The authorities already approved the confiscation of around 300 square meters in the courtyards of the mosque for the purpose of the elevator.

The Hebron Municipality has been demanding that the project should be stopped because the construction will be on land it owns together with the Palestinian Waqf (Religious Endowment) Islamic Trust.

Twenty two 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.

The city of Hebron, which houses the Ibrahimi Mosque, is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinians and about 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers who live in compounds heavily guarded by Israeli troops.

Israel has expelled the only international monitors protecting Hebron’s Palestinians from 800 heavily guarded settlers, one of whom committed the 1994 massacre that triggered their deployment.


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