RAMALLAH, April 25, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities on Monday closed the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron for two days, as part of a series of severe restrictions enforced by the Israeli military during the year’s Jewish Passover holiday.
Minister of Awkaf and Relgious Affairs, Yousef Edueis, condemned the Israeli shutdown of the Mosque, calling it a blatant violation against a purely Islamic site. He called upon all parties for immediate action against this Israeli practice.
He said away from the closure, Israeli forces also banned the Muslim call for prayers at the Mosque for 160 times during the past three months.
In the meantime, Israeli troops closed with cement cubes the entrance to Hebron’s Emergency Center in the Israeli-controlled H2 part of the city.
Ramzi Abu Yousef, a health official, told WAFA that soldiers mounted the rooftop of the Center and transformed it into a military outpost, adding that local patients were likely to face severe hardship arriving at the medical center.
He said the Center has for years been a target of daily Israeli provocations, including repeated assaults, firing of teargas canisters and stun grenades, as well as movement restrictions.
Severe restrictions for Palestinians – including denied access to the Ibrahimi Mosque – are typically implemented by the Israeli authorities during Jewish holidays for alleged security purposes.
Al-Ibrahimi Mosque is located in the old city of Hebron, few hundred meters away from the part of the city illegally occupied by around 400 extremist settlers, who are protected by about 1,500 Israeli soldiers.
In 1994, Israel divided the Mosque between Muslims and Jews, after an Israeli settler gunned down 30 Palestinians during dawn prayer.