Israeli forces sealed off the Wadi Al-Hasin area, east of the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron at noon today.
Human rights activists Jamal Sueifan reported that Israeli soldiers sealed off the northern and western entrances of the area to locals.
Residents called on human rights groups to intervene to reopen the road in order for children to be able to reach their homes after schools.
The mosque, believed to be the burial place of the prophet Abraham, is sacred to both Muslims and Jews and has been the site of oft-violent tensions for decades.
The holy site was split into a synagogue – known to Jews as the Cave of Patriarchs – and a mosque after US-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians inside the mosque in 1994.
The Israeli occupation “expropriated” large areas of the Ibrahimi Mosque and allocated it for Jewish use only following the 25 February 1994 massacre of Muslim worshippers by a settler. US-born Israeli Baruch Goldstein walked into the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron armed with a Galil assault rifle.
Goldstein opened fire at the hundreds of Muslim worshippers who were at the mosque during Ramadan, the month of fasting. He reloaded at least once, continuing his barrage for as long as possible before finally being overpowered and eventually beaten to death. By the time he was stopped, 29 worshippers were killed, and more than a hundred had been injured.
In response, Israeli occupation forces set up a “closed military zone” around the mosque, restricting Muslim access to it, and “annexed” a large area of it for settler use.