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Israel prevents restoration of Palestine's historic Ibrahimi Mosque Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israel prevents restoration of Palestine's historic Ibrahimi Mosque

The Ibrahimi Mosque is in Hebron [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 May, 2020

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Israeli authorities prevented construction works inside the Ibrahimi Mosque in occupied Hebron.

Occupying Israeli forces prevented the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) from carrying out restoration works in the Ibrahimi Mosque in occupied Hebron.

Israeli forces on Thursday prevented HRC employees from continuing with the restoration work in the mosque, according to director of the mosque, Sheikh Hafthi Abu Sneineh.

He said that work is regulated under Palestinian Ministry of Waqf and through coordination with the HRC, according to Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa.

He added that explaining that the Israeli authorities acted in a way to try to take control over the holy site, also known as Cave of the Patriarchs.

The Ibrahimi Mosque was closed from early March whilst the occupied West Bank was dealing with coronavirus and was opened on Tuesday, along with the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem.

On Tuesday, the Israeli army prevented Muslim worshippers from holding prayers inside the Ibrahimi Mosque during the first prayers of the reopening. 

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Hebron is known to be an exceptionally hostile environment for Palestinians due to the large number of settlers in the city. Its Palestinian residents reportedly live under constant fear of Israeli aggression.

Around 600 ultra-nationalist Israeli settlers live in the heart of Hebron, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank. The settler enclave is protected by twice as many Israeli soldiers.

Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians, human rights groups say.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

The Oslo agreement of 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three: Area A, Area B and Area C.

Area A is under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Area B's administration is controlled by the Palestinian Authority, with Israel controlling security. Area C is under full administrative and security control of Israel.

Israeli forces and settlers routinely harass Palestinians in the occupied territories by harming and killing civilians, demolishing homes, poisoning livestock, vandalising property and other forms of violence. 

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