Israel closes Ibrahimi Mosque for Jewish holiday

Hebron (QNN) – Israeli occupation authorities closed today the Ibrahimi Mosque in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron (Al-Khalil) to Muslim worshipers for one day for a Jewish holiday, a local Palestinian official said on Thursday.

“The Israeli authorities told us the mosque would be closed from Thursday morning to Friday morning,” said Raed Maswadeh, director of public relations for Hebron’s endowments.

“The site was closed to Muslims while being kept open to Jewish settlers who are allowed to perform Talmudic rituals under police protection,” he said.

He added that the settlers erected tents in the outer courtyards of the mosque.

After the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers inside the mosque during daybreak prayers in Ramadan, by extremist Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein, Israeli authorities divided the mosque complex between Muslim and Jewish worshippers.However, on Thursday, Jews used the mosque for worshipping whilst Muslims were banned for holding prayers.

Hebron is home to roughly 160,000 Palestinian Muslims and about 500 Jewish settlers. The latter live in a series of Jewish-only enclaves heavily guarded by Israeli troops.

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