Middle East Monitor / October 2, 2023
Israel, on Monday, shut the flashpoint Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron/Al-Khalil and opened it for settlers to mark the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, Anadolu Agency reports.
“The Israeli occupation authorities closed Al-Ibrahimi Mosque on Monday and Tuesday due to Sukkot,” Ghassan Al-Rajabi, the Director of the Ibrahimi Mosque, told Anadolu.
He said that all parts of the Mosque would be opened for Israeli settlers, adding that Israel closes the mosque for 10 days every year to Muslims on the occasion of different Jewish holidays.
Such moves, he said, are in the “framework of the continued spatial and temporal division” of the Ibrahimi Mosque.
Revered by both Muslims and Jews, Hebron’s 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.
UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided, in July 2017, to include the Ibrahimi Mosque and the old city of Hebron on its World Heritage List.
Hebron is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 500 illegal Jewish settlers. The latter live in a series of Jewish-only enclaves heavily guarded by Israeli troops.