Israel Retracts Decision to Close Hebron Mosque on Important Muslim Night

HEBRON, July 24, 2013 (WAFA) – Less than 24 hours after the Israeli military authorities had informed the Muslim Waqf in Hebron of its decision to close down the Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) in the southern West Bank city of Hebron for Muslim worshippers during Lailat al-Qadr, the most important night for Muslims, it retracted its decision, a Muslim official said Wednesday.

Director of the Hebron Waqf, the Muslim endowment, Tayseer Abu Sneineh said Israel has informed them the day before of its intention to ban Muslims from entering the mosque on that night and the next day, Monday, August 5, because it will be open only to Jews who will be marking the first day in the month of Ayloul according to the Jewish calendar.

He said Israel changed its decision and decided to keep it open on Lailat al-Qadr and close on in the next day for Muslims between seven in the morning and 10 in the evening when it will be open for Jews only.

Lailat al-Qadr is the night the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad more than 1400 years ago and it comes on the night before the 27th day of the holy fast month of Ramadan, which will be on Sunday, August 4. It is considered the most important night in the Muslim calendar when Muslims spend the entire night until the next morning worshipping in mosques everywhere.

Abu Sneineh had said closing the mosque on this important night to Muslim worshippers is an infringement on the right of Muslims to free worship in their holy places.

Israel divided the Ibrahimi Mosque between Muslims and Jews more than 20 years ago and opens it sometimes for Muslims only on important Muslim holidays and for Jews only on certain Jewish holidays. On the rest of the days, both sides pray in their designated corners of the holy place.

source : WAFA NEWS