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Israel bans Muslim call to prayer to allow settlers to celebrate Purim

General view of Ibrahimi Mosque and surroundings in Hebron, West Bank on 1 September 2020. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]
General view of Ibrahimi Mosque and surroundings in Hebron, West Bank on 1 September 2020. [Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency]

Israel today banned the raising of the Muslim call to prayer at the Ibrahimi Mosque in occupied Hebron under the pretext that settlers were celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the ban was "a call for religious war" and went on to urge the international community and the relevant UN organisations and councils to assume their legal and moral responsibilities in protecting holy sites.

The Director and head of the Ibrahimi Mosque, Sheikh Hefzi Abu Sneina, said the ban came into effect at dusk yesterday and will remain in place until Saturday evening.

He added that these measures are an infringement on the freedom of worship guaranteed by international law.

The PA's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned Israel's decision to ban West Bank ID holders from going to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, and its continued measures to prevent restoration works at the Ibrahimi Mosque, in what it said were efforts to Judaise the Old City of Hebron and expel and displaced Palestinians.

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