The Israeli occupation authorities banned the Muslim call to prayer in Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron hundreds of times last year, the Palestinian Ministry of Religious Endowments revealed on Monday. At least 645 occasions were documented when the call was banned, with 53 occasions in December alone.
"This is a violation of Muslims' freedom to practice their faith," the ministry pointed out, "as well as a violation of an Islamic holy site."
Religious Endowment Minister Yousef Idrees warned of the dangers of the increasing Israeli violations against the religious and heritage sites in the Palestinian city of Hebron. "Such measures," he added, "are intended to take control of Palestinian and Islamic property and pave the way for illegal Israeli settlers to carry out their aggression against the city and its inhabitants." Israel claims that the call to prayer "annoys" the Jewish settlers.
Muslims have to go through an exhaustive search and series of military checkpoints in order to enter Al-Ibrahimi Mosque for prayers. Commentators point out that this is ironic, given that it was a Jewish settler who entered the mosque in February 1994 and shot 29 Palestinian Muslims while they were at prayer.
"He used his Israeli army-issue rifle to carry out these murders," explained MEMO's Ibrahim Hewitt. "After this, the Israelis divided the mosque between Muslims and Jews. Settlers have access to the whole building during Jewish holidays." The world is silent about such injustice, he added.