Israel implements Judaization mission at Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Nearly 20,000 Palestinians from Hebron governorate, within the southern West Bank, carried out Friday prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) on Aug. 13, to emphasize the Islamic identification of the positioning, within the face of the Israeli Judaization efforts made in its outer courtyards.

On Aug. 12, the Directorate of Religious Endowments in Hebron determined to shut all of the mosques within the metropolis calling on worshippers to wish at the Ibrahimi Mosque, which is believed to have been constructed on the tomb of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), in a bid to defend it and shield it from Israeli plans. Thousands of Palestinians responded to the decision, amid tight Israeli safety measures.

The Israeli forces, which had been deployed within the neighborhood of the positioning and the outdated metropolis, prevented a whole bunch of younger males from coming into the web site, and fired tear fuel at worshippers, after driving them out of its courtyards.

On Aug. 10, the Israeli authorities started excavation works within the southern outer courtyards of the positioning underneath strict safety measures, as a part of the mission that will alter the options of the Ibrahimi Mosque.

This mission sparked protests in Hebron. Palestinians rallied Aug. 11 in entrance of the Ibrahimi Mosque, amid the Israeli forces’ measures to suppress them, together with the firing of tear fuel. The protests are anticipated to escalate within the coming months because the mission continues to be carried out.

On Aug. 11, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh condemned the Israeli violations on the web site, and demanded that worldwide human rights organizations and UNESCO denounce the Israeli violations, as the positioning is positioned on the World Heritage List.

The Israeli mission includes the set up of an elevator and a highway to facilitate entry for settlers. The works are carried out by a group from the Israeli Defense Ministry, underneath the supervision of the Israeli Civil Administration. The mission is predicted to be accomplished in six months

On May 3, 2020, then-Defense Minister and present Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had authorised an expropriation order to seize some areas adjoining to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron to put in the elevator.

Also, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz authorised June 10 the implementation of the mission.

Gantz’s determination got here after the Israeli Supreme Court dismissed April 21 a petition by the Hebron municipality to freeze the choice to license and construct an elevator contained in the Ibrahimi Mosque. The courtroom gave the inexperienced mild to the Israeli Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Council to move ahead with the mission, and the license was authorised by the Israeli Central Court.

Palestinians consider this mission is a brand new Israeli try to show the Ibrahimi Mosque right into a synagogue, because it paves the way in which for a better variety of settlers to enter the positioning, the seizure of further components in its neighborhood and better Israeli management over it, which might alter its traits and obliterate its identification.

Director of the Ibrahimi Mosque Sheikh Hafthi Abu Sneineh informed Al-Monitor that Friday prayers had been held on the Ibrahimi Mosque to precise rejection of its Judaization and strengthen the presence of Palestinians there, in order to make clear its Islamic and Arab identification.

He mentioned that the mission is further proof of the Israeli intention to proceed to Judaize the remaining components of the positioning, and to completely tighten management over it and its environment. He defined that the mission poses a problem to the worldwide group, particularly UNESCO, as the town of Hebron and the Ibrahimi Mosque had been added to the World Heritage List in 2007.

He famous that the mission will devour the encompassing lands that belong to the Islamic non secular endowments, and can alter the positioning’s historic picture and forge its identification.

Israel has exploited the 1994 bloodbath, throughout which settler Baruch Goldstein killed 29 Palestinians, to fully divide the traditional sanctuary and provides unique entry to 66% of its space to Israeli settlers and Jewish guests. Israel additionally erected army obstacles on the entrances to the sanctuary and took management of all of its gates and exterior courtyards.

The determination to go forward with the mission seems to violate the Hebron Protocol, signed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel in 1997, which conferred the planning authority within the metropolis to the PA. The protocol offers for the division of Hebron into two components: Area H1, managed by the PA, and Area H2 the place the Ibrahimi Mosque is positioned and that is topic to Israeli safety management. The protocol supplied that the authority to grant constructing permits throughout Hebron within the two areas is the prerogative of the Hebron municipality.

The director-general of the Hebron Endowments, Jamal Abu Aram, informed Al-Monitor that the Israeli mission seeks to obliterate the options and Judaize the Ibrahimi Mosque by facilitating entry for setters whereas tightening entry measures for Palestinians to the positioning and the outdated metropolis.

He mentioned that the mission stretches from the japanese courtyard that is underneath Israeli management, and that the bulldozing has been ongoing and has affected 360 sq. meters (3,875 sq. ft) to this point. He added that further components of the outer courtyards can be exploited.

Abu Aram careworn that the Friday prayers that w held at the Ibrahimi Mosque is tantamount to a name for a common mobilization for the sake of the mosque and an essential message recalling the favored motion that occurred in Jerusalem towards putting in the digital gates on the entrances to Al-Aqsa Mosque, which proved {that a} sturdy common rebellion is efficient in deterring the occupation and stopping its mission.

He pointed on the Israeli judiciary’s complicity with the authorities’ plans. “We, as local authorities, [the Islamic Endowments and the Hebron municipality] resorted to the Israeli courts, which procrastinated their decisions. They froze the project for some time, before the Israeli Supreme Court gave its final approval months ago.”

The state of affairs in Hebron is predicted to escalate within the coming days and weeks amid a continuation of the Israeli mission. Popular protests and calls to go to the Ibrahimi Mosque are anticipated. Abu Sneineh mentioned, “Activities in protest against the occupation’s schemes will continue and we will not allow any violation at the site. We must work to thwart the scheme.”

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