Jordan and Saudi Arabia have condemned Israeli President Isaac Herzog's visit to the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron to celebrate a Jewish holiday. Herzog forced his way into the mosque on Sunday to participate in a candle-lighting ceremony. He was accompanied by a large number of Israeli police officers and illegal Jewish settlers.
A spokesman for the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, Haitham Abu Al-Foul, described Herzog's visit as a "violation of international law" and a "move that encourages extremism." Moreover, he said, it was an "unjustified provocation to the sentiments of Muslims."
The Saudi Foreign Ministry also decried the visit as "provocative". A ministry statement called on the international community "to bear its responsibility towards stopping Israeli practices against Islamic holy sites."
After the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers inside the Ibrahim Mosque by an extremist Jewish settler, Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli occupation authorities divided the mosque complex between Muslim and Jewish worshippers.
UNESCO's World Heritage Committee decided in July 2017 to include the Ibrahimi Mosque and the old city of Hebron on its World Heritage List. The occupied city is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 500 Jewish settlers. The latter live in a series of Jews-only enclaves heavily guarded by Israeli troops.