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Israel shuts Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim worshippers for Jewish holidays

The Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron has been temporarily closed for Muslim worshippers during Jewish holidays, as reported by the mosque director, Ghassan al-Rajabi, on Saturday. The mosque was reportedly opened to Israeli settlers during this time.

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published September 16,2023

Israel has shut the flashpoint Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron for marking Jewish holidays, according to the mosque director on Saturday.

"Israeli forces closed the Ibrahimi Mosque on Friday night to Muslim worshippers, while it was opened to Israeli settlers," Ghassan al-Rajabi told Anadolu.

He said the mosque will remain closed until Saturday evening.

Israeli settlers will observe the Rosh Hashanah holiday from Sept. 15 to Sept. 17 this year. They will also mark the Sukkot holiday at the end of September and the Simhat Torah holiday on Oct. 6.

During Jewish holidays, the Israeli army seals off the mosque to Muslims for up to ten days a year.

Revered by both Muslims and Jews, Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque complex is believed to be the burial site of the prophets Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

After the 1994 massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers inside the mosque by a Jewish extremist settler, Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli authorities divided the mosque complex between Muslim and Jewish worshippers.

UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided in July 2017 to include the Ibrahimi Mosque and the old city of Hebron on its World Heritage List.

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.