Israeli occupation authorities have banned Palestinians from entering the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied city of Hebron, the Palestinian Ministry of Endowment announced yesterday.
“The occupation authorities will close the Ibrahimi Mosque, starting Friday afternoon until Saturday evening,” the ministry said in a statement, noting that the move had come under the pretext of “celebrating the Jewish Sabbath holiday.”
The ministry added that the Israeli authorities were “taking advantage of the Jewish holidays to harass Palestinians by imposing collective punishment on them, preventing them from accessing holy sites, and interrogating them at military checkpoints.”
“Every year, the Ibrahimi mosque is completely closed for ten days in conjunction with Jewish religious holidays,” the statement added.
The Ibrahimi Mosque is located in Hebron’s Old City, it falls under the Israeli occupation’s control. It is believed to have been built over the tomb of the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him).
On 25 February 1994, the extremist Israeli Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Palestinian worshippers during Fajr (dawn) prayer at the mosque, killing 29 and wounding about 200 others.
During protests following the massacre, the Israeli occupation forces killed 20 Palestinians and wounded over 150.
Since then, the Israeli occupation has closed the main street in the city and divided the mosque into two parts – one for Palestinians and one for Jews. During the Jewish holidays, Israel prevents Palestinians from entering the mosque.