Palestinian Islamic Jihad cautions Israel on Ibrahimi Mosque

Palestinian Islamic Jihad cautions Israel over 'settlement plans' for Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque
2 min read
13 August, 2021
Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesperson Tareq Selmi suggested Tel Aviv's building efforts intend to destroy the Ibrahimi Mosque's traditional and Muslim character.
The Ibrahimi Mosque is in Hebron's occupied Old City [Getty]

Israel has been cautioned not to take actions against Hebron city's Ibrahimi Mosque by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militant faction, which is most active in Gaza.

Hebron is located in Palestine's West Bank and has long been a key centre of Israel's occupation policies.

PIJ spokesperson Tareq Selmi suggested Tel Aviv's work to build a lift reserved for illegal settlers and an access road to the site is an attempt to destroy the holy place's traditional and Muslim character, Anadolu Agency reported on Thursday.

He cautioned: "We warn the occupation [Israel] from attempts and new settlement plans that target the Ibrahimi Mosque".

Israel's Ministry of Defence revealed on Monday that it had begun work to build a lift and an access road connecting the car park to the Ibrahimi Mosque itself.

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This move was slammed by Mohammad Shtayyeh, the Palestinian premier, on Wednesday.

He noted that the lift project takes land belonging to the endowment known as the Islamic Waqf, a religious body which administers the site, according to Palestine's official Wafa news agency.

Both Muslims and Jews believe the mosque is the site where the Prophet Abraham, Ibrahim in Arabic, is buried.

PIJ's Selmi encouraged locals to turn up at the Ibrahimi Mosque for Friday prayers to help solidify its character, Anadolu Agency said.

The Hebron Protocol, which Tel Aviv and the Palestine Liberation Organization concluded in 1997, split Hebron into zones H1 and H2.

The first is administered by Palestine, while Israel holds power over the second, which contains hundreds of illegal settlers.

About a fifth of Hebron, including the Ibrahimi Mosque and old city – which was recognised as a Palestinian World Heritage Site four years ago by UNESCO – are within H2.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad was involved during May's escalation, when Israel carried out a deadly 11-day bombing campaign against the Strip, killing 256 Palestinians.

Meanwhile, rocket fire from militant groups in Gaza killed 13 in Israel.